The Senator said Buhari's ministers are looking for an escape route rather than appearing for their budget defence.
The vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Sonny Ogbuoji, has denied allegations that members of the National Assembly were demanding bribes and contracts from heads of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
Some heads of MDAs had told PremiumTimes that the lawmakers were “harassing them” with budget defence due to their failure to pay bribes and award them contracts.
But, in a statement on Friday, March 23, 2018, Senator Ugbuoji described the allegation as false.
“It’s a big lie,” Ugbuoji announced. “The president has directed them to submit to the committees. If they submit and the committee does not receive it, they should blow it open. This should not be a secret. It’s a big lie. Such things (bribery) should not be entertained.”
Ogbuoji had on February 28, 2018, called the attention of the senate to the refusal of MDAs to either submit details of their 2018 budget proposal or their amendments as requested by Senate committees.
He noted the allegation was an ‘escape route’ concocted by the MDAs to cover up.
“People are looking for escape route for their ineptitude. If they say they are demanding bribe, its human beings that are demanding the bribes. They should say the person’s name. There should be no cover up. Nobody should entertain such story.
“If it is me, they should call my name. Hiding it is like virus. If you cover virus, it will never die but the moment you expose it to the atmosphere, it will die. They should say which committee is demanding it. Let them not just say and give a wrong impression,” he added.
‘We’ll pass 2018 budget on April 24’
Meanwhile, Speaker Yakubu Dogara says the National Assembly would pass the 2018 budget on April 24, 2018.
Dogara disclosed this at plenary on Wednesday, March 21, 2018.
Dogara noted that both the Senate and House of Representatives have agreed that the budget will be presented and passed on April 19 and 24, respectively.