By Inalegwu Shaibu
The Senate yesterday approved N10 billion in the 2009 supplementary budget to enable the Federal Government execute the amnesty granted by President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua to militants in the Niger Delta region.
Another N21.32 bn was also yesterday approved by the Senate for the allowances of the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The approvals were captured in the N102.270 bn supplementary budget for this year, that was passed on the floor of the Senate yesterday.
The breakdown of the supplementary budget shows that N97.37bn has been approved for recurrent (non-debt) expenditure. Another N4.9bn has been set aside to be contributed to the development fund for capital expenditure.
Part of the allocation approved by the Senate is N5bn to guarantee the security of oil and gas installations in the troubled Niger Delta.
Ajaokuta Steel Company also benefited in the budget by getting N3.2bn allocated to offset staff salaries.
The budget was given an accelerated treatment on the floor of the Senate as all the legislative process in the passage of bills were fast-tracked to allow the Senate pass it into law before embarking on an eight-week recess.