The Senate has assured Nigerians that the 2017 budget proposal will be returned to President Muhammadu Buhari for his assent.
Senate majority leader, Ahmad Lawan, said this during a chat with state house correspondents after he met with the President on Thursday.
Lawan, however, pointed out that the police raid on the residence of the chairman of the Senate committee on appropriation, Danjuma Goje, had slowed down the progress made on the budget.
Goje claimed that the police carted away, among other things, files containing the 2017 budget documents, but the police had denied the allegation.
He said: “The national assembly had intended to pass the budget in March but because of some parameters that we didn’t have control over, we couldn’t pass it.
“It was our design and desire to pass it within this month, April, but somehow, something happened.
“One of our colleagues, the chairman, senate committee on appropriation, Distinguished Senator Danjuma Goje’s house was raided by the police after a whistleblower gave information and when parts of those documents were taken away, it was reported that parts of the budget papers were included.
“This and other things that happened and essentially, the trauma that the chairman, senate committee on appropriation had to go through, affected the process of budgeting.”
Lawan noted that members of the senate appropriation committee, because of the budget, had forgone their Easter recess, in order to ensure work on it was completed on time.
“When we were going on Easter recess, members of the senate committee on appropriation, including that of the house, did not go on recess,” he said.
“They stayed back because that was the arrangement, so that by the time we returned on April 25, that was Tuesday, they should lay the report of the budget.
“Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible because of what happened.”
Condemning the actions of the Police, the Senate leader added however that there was no cause for alarm.
“The good news is that we are doing everything possible to ensure that we catch up with the lost time.
“So, by the grace of God, I’m thinking that by next week, we should be able to finish our own work and pass the budget for Mr President to sign.”
The N7.298 trillion 2017 budget was presented before the National Assembly by President Buhari in December 2016.