Hundreds of copies of Nigeria’s 2016 budget go missing

ABUJA, Nigeria, Hundreds of copies of Nigeria’s 2016 budget have gone missing from the country’s parliament.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who at the time was challenging Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan for re-election, sits at the U.S. Consulate General's Residence in Lagos, Nigeria, during a series of meetings on January 25, 2015. On January 12, 2016, officials said hundreds of copies of Buhari's 2016 budget proposal went missing in Nigeria's upper house of parliament. Photo by State Department
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who at the time was challenging Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan for re-election, sits at the U.S. Consulate General’s Residence in Lagos, Nigeria, during a series of meetings on January 25, 2015. On January 12, 2016, officials said hundreds of copies of Buhari’s 2016 budget proposal went missing in Nigeria’s upper house of parliament. Photo by State Department

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Nigerian official, speaking on condition of anonymity, on Tuesday told the BBC the senate was unable to consider the proposal without the documents.

Nigeria’s economy, the largest in Africa, has experienced setbacks in light of the dropping price of oil, a commodity that makes up 95 percent of its exports.

The incident, which one senator called a “national embarrassment,” has stoked fears the economic crisis, the worst in recent years, will be prolonged.

Last month the office of President Muhammadu Buhari delivered to the upper and lower house of Nigeria’s parliament copies of the budget, which calls for a 20 percent spending increase through heavy borrowing.

Buhari reportedly denied claims he withdrew the documents to address discrepancies.

“It’s an incredible and award winning April Fool stunt,” Vanguard quoted House Speaker Yakubu Dogara as saying.

Dogara characterized the missing documents as a senate problem and said the lower house was still in possession of their copies of the budget.

“The budget is in the custody of the Clerk to the House of Representatives. I can confirm no one has broken into his office,” he said.

The lower house’s copies of the 2016 budget are scheduled for distribution Wednesday.

By Fred Lambert

UPI NEWS