Members of the House of Representatives on Thursday threatened to begin impeachment proceedings against President Goodluck Jonathan if he failed to achieve 100% budget implementation by September this year.
The lawmakers accused the President of breaching the 2012 Appropriation Act and poorly executing the budget.
Jonathan was given up to September to achieve “100% execution” of the budget or face impeachment proceedings.
The Minority Leader of the House, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, who proposed the amendment, received a resounding applause from the majority of members at Thursday’s session.
But the Presidency said in a reaction on Thursday that both the executive and the legislature agreed on the need for good budget implementation.
President’s spokesman, Reuben Abati, said Jonathan had made it clear several times that his administration placed a premium on performance.
Abati said, “The House and the presidency are on the same page on budget implementation. Just as the house is concerned, Mr. President is concerned too.
What happened today in the House was ironic and a big coincidence because two ministries, interior and police affairs, were in the Villa today to make presentations on their key performance index.” He added that budget implementation was a process and that the process of implementing the 2012 budget was ongoing.
Gbajabiamila had proposed the amendment to a motion before the House on the poor implementation of the budget.
“If by September 18, the budget performance has not improved to 100%, we shall begin to invoke and draw up articles of impeachment against Mr. President,” he said.
Members shouted a loud “yes”, “yes”, “yes” and clapped for the minority leader as Gbajabiamila made the proposal.
He accused the executive of allegedly breaching the Appropriation Act, 2012 by engaging in “selective implementation” of the budget.
Gbajabiamila added, “What we have in our hands today is a budget of abracadabra; a budget of voodoo economy.
“I like Mr. President; he is a fine gentleman, but I like my people, the Nigerian people more.”
The original motion, which was moved by the Chairman, House Committee on Rules/Business, Mr. Albert Sam-Tsokwa, sought an interface between Jonathan and the leadership of the House on why it had been difficult for Ministries Departments and Agencies to implement the budget.