President Muhammadu Buhari has written a letter to the National Assembly requesting the withdrawal of the 2016 budget in order to make changes.
Buhari in late December 2015 presented the 2016 budget, which included a tripling of capital expenditure, to a joint session of the National Assembly as Nigeria continues to battle its worst economic crisis in years caused by the fall in global crude prices.
According to the him, spending would be 6.08 trillion naira and the deficit would double to 2.2 trillion naira ($11 billion) under his administration’s plans.
With Brent crude, which gives Nigeria around 95 percent of its foreign earnings, falling to below $30 a barrel for the first time in 12 years, the naira has dropped to record lows against the dollar on the parallel market amid dwindling FX reserves.
A presidency source said: “Mr president has written to the Senate and the House of Representatives to withdraw the 2016 budget to enable him to touch some amendments following the further dwindling price of oil among other areas.”
Buhari’s spokesmen, who have travelled with the president to the United Arab Emirates for the World Future Energy Summit, were unavailable for comment.
A source at the upper house of parliament, the Senate, said Buhari had written to the National Assembly, which consists of both houses, to request the withdrawal of this year’s budget.
“The Senate received the letter on Saturday but it does not specify what is to be corrected,” said the source, who wished to remain unnamed.
Ita Enang, the president’s senior special assistant on National Assembly matters, on Sunday issued a statement confirming that a message had been sent.
“Mr President has sent a communication to the National Assembly on the 2016 Budget,” said Enang. “The content is as will be read on the floor in plenary.” He added that the reading would take place on Tuesday.
Senate members have requested Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele to explain the naira’s plunge on Tuesday.
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