By Joe Effiong and Gabriel Efo, Uyo
THE 2016 Appropriation Act signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, May 6, will run until May 2017.
Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly (Senate), Ita Enang, disclosed this yesterday, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
“The Act provides that the budget takes effectfrom the date of assent by the president and runs a full course of 12 months.
“So, as the president assented to this budget on May 6, it will expire on May 6, 2017. This is an ingenious introduction by the National Assembly to ensure that there is full implementation of the budget,” Enang, a former lawmaker who chaired the Senate Committee on Rules and Business in the Seventh Senate said.
Yesterday, Enang also thanked Nigerians for their patience during the budget crisis, and praised the Senate and the House of Representatives members whom he said demonstrated bi-partisanship during the controversy that trailed the exclusion of the Lagos-Calabar rail project from the budget.
The special assistant to the president on national assembly matters (senate), said the Federal Government would execute 100 percent of the 2016 budget before the 2017 fiscal year.
Enang explained that implementing the budget to the full has become imperative to ensure that the change agenda of the present administration would be delivered.
Commenting on his relationship with the former governor of Akwa Ibom State and senate minority leader, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, Enang said their relationship with him as well as that of the other senators from the state was cordial, since they are all working for the success of the present administration.
“That was Governor Godswill Akpabio as governor of Akwa Ibom State. Now I am working with all the senators including Godswill Akpabio as minority leader and other senators as senators from Akwa Ibom State, who are working together to support Mr President. I have taken their report that they are all working to support Mr President.
“Of course, we all accept that hunger has no political party neither does it have religion; unemployment knows no political party. So we work together to agree on how to deliver the change agenda of the president. He is the leader of the minority party of the senate and it is my job to create a good relationship between the president and all the senators,” he noted.
He, however called on Akwa Ibom State governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, to restructure the entire petroleum management and distribution chain in the state, saying that the fuel crisis hitting the state is an internal issue and not from the Federal Government.
He urged the people to endeavor to find out what the petrol situation is like in other south southern and south eastern states, saying they would be marveled at the fact that what is obtainable in those states is not what the are suffering in the state.
“The question of distribution of petroleum products is and ought to be the responsibility of the Federal Government and it is done well but when it comes into the borders of Akwa Ibom State, other volunteers jump in and cause a hitch for which the people suffer,” he noted.