Conversely, the National Assembly cannot remove an item the executive has allocated to one Ministry to another Ministry or agency! The National Assembly cannot remove the N60 Billion allotted for the proposed Lagos-Calabar Rail Line to the Lagos-Kano Railway project.
Clearly the responsibility for the preparation of budget estimates or the Appropriation Bill lies squarely and wholly with the. Federal executive branch of government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The legislative powers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is established by Section 4 (1) (2) & (3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provide thus:
4. (1) The legislative powers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be vested in a National Assembly for the Federation, which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives.
(2) The National Assembly shall have power to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the Federation or any part thereof with respect to any matter included in the Exclusive Legislative List set out in Part I of the Second Schedule to this Constitution.
(3) The power of the National Assembly to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the Federation with respect to any matter included in the Exclusive Legislative List shall, save as otherwise provided in this Constitution, be to the exclusion of the Houses of Assembly of States.
The Executive powers of the Federation is stipulated by Section 5 (1) & (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria thus:
5. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the executive powers of the Federation:
(a) shall be vested in the President and may subject as aforesaid and to the provisions of any law made by the National Assembly, be exercised by him either directly or through the Vice-President and Ministers of the Government of the Federation or officers in the public service of the Federation; and
(b) shall extend to the execution and maintenance of this Constitution, all laws made by the National Assembly and to all matters with respect to which the National Assembly has, for the time being, power to make laws.
The powers of the National Assembly to make laws by way of Bills passed by both the Senate and House of Representatives are provided by Section 58 subsection 1 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria thus:
Section 58 (1) The power of the National Assembly to make laws shall be exercised by bills passed by both the Senate and the House of Representatives and, except as otherwise provided by subsection (5) of this section, assented to by the President.
(2) A bill may originate in either the Senate or the House of Representatives and shall not become law unless it has been passed and, except as otherwise provided by this section and section 59 of this Constitution, assented to in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(3) Where a bill has been passed by the House in which it originated, it shall be sent to the other House, and it shall be presented to the President for assent when it has been passed by that other House and agreement has been reached between the two Houses on any amendment made on it.
(4) Where a bill is presented to the President for assent, he shall within thirty days thereof signify that he assents or that he withholds assent.
(5) Where the President withholds his assent and the bill is again passed by each House by two-thirds majority, the bill shall become law and the assent of the President shall not be required.
59. (1) The provisions of this section shall apply to:
(a) an appropriation bill or a supplementary appropriation bill, including any other bill for the payment, issue or withdrawal from the Consolidated Revenue Fund or any other public fund of the Federation of any money charged thereon or any alteration in the amount of such a payment, issue or withdrawal; and
(b) a bill for the imposition of or increase in any tax, duty or fee or any reduction, withdrawal or cancellation thereof.
(2) Where a bill to which this section applies is passed by one of the Houses of the National Assembly but is not passed by the other House within a period of two months from the commencement of a financial year, the President of the Senate shall within fourteen days thereafter arrange for and convene a meeting of the joint finance committee to examine the bill with a view to resolving the differences between the two Houses.
(3) Where the joint finance committee fails to resolve such differences, then the bill shall be presented to the National Assembly sitting at a joint meeting, and if the bill is passed at such joint meeting, it shall be presented to the National Assembly sitting at a joint meeting, and if the bill is passed at such joint meeting,it shall be presented to the President for assent .
(4 ) Where the President, within thirty days after the presentation of the bill to him,fails to signify his assent or where he withholds assent,then the bill shall again be presented to the National Assembly sitting at a joint meeting ,and if passed by two thirds majority of members of both Houses at such joint meeting, the bill shall become law and the assent of the president shall not be required .
(5) In this section ," joint finance committee" refers to the Joint Finance Committee of the National Assembly on Finance established by Section 63 (3) of this Constitution ".