Page last updated at 13:59 GMT, Thursday, 19 November 2009

Nigeria budget delayed by squabbling politicians

President Umaru Yar'Adua, file image
Umaru Yar'Adua has been forced to delay his budget announcement

Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua has refused to present next year's budget because of a row between the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The two groups were meant to gather in the House of Representatives to hear the budget speech - but the senators refused to go.

They said the president should present the budget in the Senate.

A presidential aide said the budget would not be presented until the houses resolve their differences.

Distinguished and honourable?

"The budget is ready but the president will not be coming to the National Assembly to present it today," said Senator Abba Aji, presidential liaison officer at the National Assembly.

"The president will not come until both chambers of the National Assembly put themselves in order."

In Nigeria, senators are known as distinguished, while House of Representative members are called honourable.

The BBC's Chris Ewokor in Abuja says commentators are asking whether such the politicians deserve such titles.

The in-fighting has been condemned as embarrassing and egotistical, with politicians putting self-interest above urgent matters of national importance.

The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties says the action is despicable and contrary to the growth of democracy and the development of the country.

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