As the controversy over the implementation of the 2012 budget rages between the National Assembly and the Presidency, strong indications emerged yesterday, that the two arms might clash again over the nod given by the Executive to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to introduce N5,000 note.
The lawmakers, it was learnt, are irked that the Presidency consented to the controversial decision, which has been roundly condemned by well-meaning Nigerians without seeking their approval.
Similarly, Vanguard gathered that the lawmakers were also spoiling for war with the Executive over the surreptitious approval given Dana Air to resume flight operations barely three months after its aircraft killed 153 Nigerians.
Dana Air crashed on its way from Abuja to Lagos, killing all the 153 passengers on board on June 3, 2012 and the report of investigations into the cause of the fatal crash is yet to be made public.
The two Aviation committees of the National Assembly working on the incident were yet to turn in their reports, when the Federal Government ordered Dana back to the skies on Wednesday.
A top-ranking lawmaker told Vanguard yesterday that the legislators were angry that the Presidency went ahead to grant approval to the CBN to proceed with the introduction of the controversial bank note without inputs from them.
The lawmaker pointed out that they were suprised by the two decisions taken by the executive arm of government at a time they were trying to resolve the imbroglio over the implementation of the 2012 budget.
According to the source, the two issues for which the Presidency had given approval without seeking the opinion of the National Assembly were issues that had far-reaching implications on Nigerians and should not have been done without their involvement as representatives of the people.
The source said, “You can see the levity with which this government treats the National Assembly members, who were elected to make laws for the good of this nation. What do they take us for?.
Continuing, the source noted, “We will certainly take up these issues once we resume because we have not given any approval for the government to embark on any of them. These are issues that border on people’s lives and we cannot just keep silent over them.
“Nigerians should be rest assured that we will always work for their own interest and whatever we decide will be in the interest of the people.”
The lawmaker pointed out that the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, committed a blunder by asking Dana to resume when the reports of the two committees of the National Assembly had not yet been made public to ascertain what caused Dana flight crash on June 3. It was learnt that the National Assembly had also shifted its planned resumption by a week.
Before it proceeded on vacation, the lawmakers had stated that they would resume on September 19 but a source said yesterday they would resume on September 25. The lawmakers had given President Goodluck Jonathan up to the end of this month to implement the budget by 100 percent or face impeachment, a development that generated tension in the country.
However following intense rapprochement by eminent Nigerians and consultations between the Presidency and the lawmakers, there were hopes that the threat had been laid to rest.