Ahead of the president’s arrival, the House of Representatives is reportedly engaged in a closed-door session The meeting of the lawmakers followed an earlier secret session held by members of the Senate and presided over by Bukola Saraki with issues including the planned scuttling of the budget presentation dominating discussion, according to Daily Sun.
Buhari is expected to present the budget by 2pm Reports say some members of the House of Representatives are not lawmakers happy with the executive arm of government over the alleged non-release of funds for their constituency projects.
Buhari’s letter informing the House of his intention to present the budget had earlier resulted in a rowdy session when it was read at plenary.
2.27pm: The president pleads with the National Assembly to continue to support his works.
2.23pm: Buhari says the 2018 budget will consolidate on previous budgets. He says 2017 budget was one of uncertainty. He says his belief has always been the quickest solution may not be the best solution to issues. 2.22pm: Buhari commences his address. He recognises Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the leadership of the National Assembly as well as APC chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun. 2.21pm: Saraki assures Buhari that the National Assembly will work with the team of the executive arm to ensure the budget is passed as well as implement it.
2.19pm: Saraki says each Nigerian wants to be part of the country’s economy adding that people must be able to feel this in various communities and not just the city centres alone.
2.17: Saraki warns against unnecessary borrowing saying such must be targeted at physical infrastructure and developmental agenda. He talked about the fear among students graduating in the country as there are no jobs. He pleads with the president to look at this area.
2.15pm: Saraki says the country cannot afford another recession. “We all must make sure that the budget is passed as early as possible.” He warns agencies that would delay defending their budgets saying they would be sanctioned.
2.13pm: Senate President Saraki welcomes Buhari to the joint session of the National Assembly. He expresses excitement that the president is at the National Assembly in person. He commends the National Economic Team. “We must work together to steer the ship of this country…we must grow our economy.”
2.11pm: A Muslim cleric takes the Islamic prayer session.
2.10pm: There is a mild drama as the man asked to open the Christian prayer session is taking too long. A clamour of ‘Amen’ fills the air, an indirect call on him to end the prayer.
2.04pm: Buhari arrives National Assembly for the presentation of the budget. The National Anthem being rendered. The president arrived with members of the Federal Executive Council, serving and past governors and top politicians. 2.01pm: The Senate has approved a motion to receive President Muhammadu Buhari to present the 2018 Appropriation Bill.