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2019 Budget, the best we could present – FG

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Friday, said that the 2019 Appropriation Bill of N8.83 trillion presented to the joint session of the National Assembly on Wednesday was the best the government could present following the circumstances it found itself.

The Minister also enthused that the President Buhari’s All Progressives Congress, APC, led administration has fulfilled all promises it made to Nigerians.

Alhaji Mohammed who spoke with State House correspondents after the Friday juma’at at the State House Mosque, Abuja, wished Nigerians merry Christmas and prosperous new year.

When asked to comment on the statement credited to the Senate President where he was quoted to have said that the 2019 budget document was unworkable, the minister said that the executive presented the best it could within the prevailing circumstances and that it was left to the National Assembly to do whatever it wants with the budget proposal.

He said, “It is not the practice of the executive to be exchanging words with the legislative arm of government, they are independent, we are independent but to the best of our knowledge, we presented a budget given the circumstances of our resources this year, we feel that is the best we can.

“It is left for the National Assembly to consider it.”

On the deadline by the organised labour to the federal government to forward the N30,000 new Minimum Wage to the National Assembly before Dec. 31 or workers would down tools, he appealed to the workers not to do anything that would embarrass the government.

According to him, “The Nigeria Labour Congress is a very patriotic union and I am very confident that they will not do anything that will embarrass the government or do anything that is going to worsen the situation.

“Continuous engagement I think is the key, we continue to engage them and I think they also understand what the challenges are. Both parties are determined to ensure that a common ground is arrived at which will be comfortable for all.”

The Information Minister said that the government has delivered all its obligations and promises to Nigerians, adding that it was determined to do more.

He said, “I wish everybody Merry Christmas and as a government, we are happy that we have been able to meet all our promises, all our obligations to Nigerians.”

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