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UPDATED: Udoma, Ahmad, others absent at 2019 budget hearing

FILE PHOTO: President Muhammadu Buhari places the 2019 Appropriation Bill on the table after his presentation to a joint season of the National Assembly in Abuja.

The 2019 budget, on Tuesday, encountered a major setback as heads of federal government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) shunned an invitation by the Joint House Committee on Appropriation, Finance, Aids, Debts and Management, among others.

The affected heads of MDAs included Minister of National Planning, Udo Udoma; Minister of Finance, Aisha Ahmad; Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Maikanti Barau, among others.

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The Joint Committee was billed to consider the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP), and the 2018 budget performance defence by the MDAs, which were parameters for the passage of the 2019 Appropriation Bill.

Briefing newsmen after adjournment, Chairman of the Joint Committee and Chairman, House Committee of Finance, Babangida Ibrahim, said the implication was that the passage of the 2019 budget would be delayed.

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“By failing to turn up for this hearing, the implication is that the passage of the 2019 budget will be delayed,” Ibrahim said.

Meanwhile, a new date for the hearing is yet to be fixed.

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