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Budget: We’re ready to override President’s veto –Reps

By Rotimi Akinwumi/Abuja

House of Representatives is not afraid of overriding a possible veto of the 2013 budget by President Goodluck Jonathan, House Committee Chairman on Media and Public Affairs, Zakari Mohammed, has vowed.

He said the House was only bidding its time, waiting for the ongoing talks between the Presidency and National Assembly leadership on the budget to be exhausted.

Mohammed told newsmen on Thursday that issues being contested in the budget by the Presidency are not ones the National Assembly should be blamed for.

Clarifying issues on the state of the budget against the backdrop of failure by the President to sign the budget yesterday contrary to all predictions, Mohammed believes that the talks between the House leadership and the Presidency were still expected to bring solution to the problem.

He, however, added that the talks are not the final point of solution, noting that the National Assembly leadership cannot agree on issues raised by the Presidency on restructuring of the already passed budget unless it was brought back to the Assembly in session for joint decision to be taken on what should be done.

Mohammed said the decision of the National Assembly for roll over of 2012 capital projects, the insistence that Minister of Finance must brief the parliament quarterly on budget performance, among others, are some of the factors delaying the budget from being signed by the President.

He disclosed further that the House was waiting on the President to sign the budget before the lapse of the 30 working days statutorily allowed by the Constitution for him to do so before “doing the needful” in accordance with constitutional provision.

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