Reps’ amendment work on 2013 budget delayed by Budget Office

The Herald NG
3 Min Read

Months after President Goodluck Jonathan sent the 2013 Appropriation Bill to the National Assembly, the Budget Office of the Federation is yet to send in the details of the proposal, thus delaying the debate on the proposed amendments in the House of Representatives.

The House had listed the budget for second reading on Thursday, only for the Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal to inform members that the copies of the budget were yet to be received from the “executive side.”

Tambuwal explained that after the House reconvened from the Easter break on April 16, he instructed the Committee on Appropriation to liaise with the Budget Office for the details, but up until Thursday, the details had yet to reach the House.

He said, “We have been expecting the copies of the proposed amendments from the executive side. Since last week, we have been expecting the details.”

The Speaker called on the Chairman of the committee, Mr. John Enoh, to brief members on the issue, who said the Budget Office was still producing the copies.

He said, “The committee is in touch with the Budget Office; the copies for National Assembly members are only now being produced. They are in volumes and by next week, it is expected that the copies will be available.”

The 2013 budget of N4.987trillion was passed by the National Assembly on December 20, 2012 and signed into law by the President on February 27.

However, in March, the President sent amendment proposals to the lawmakers.

Jonathan queried certain provisions in the budget such as the slash in personnelcost by over N100bn.

He also queried the controversial clause on zero allocation to the Securities and Exchange Commission, arguing it could cripple the agency.

Another area of dispute was the crude oil benchmark for the budget.While the President proposed $75 per barrel, the National Assembly raised it to$79.

The Senate had attributed the delay in debating the budget to the Easter break.

The Upper Chamber said it earlier gave priority to the report of the People’s Public Sessions on the review of the 1999 Constitution when it reconvened and had slated the budget for this week.

Its Committee on Information and Media Chairman, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, who spoke to one of our correspondents, said the Senate would give the budget speedy consideration.

Share this Article
The Herald NG is a leading newspaper in Nigeria at the forefront of the digital revolution.
Leave a comment