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2013 budget to wait until…,say Reps

BY OKEY NDIRIBe & EMMA OVUAKPORIE
ABUJA—THE House of Representatives yesterday said the 2013 budget will not be treated until a full oversight function is carried out on Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, within the next two weeks.

Spokesman of the House, Zakari Mohammed disclosed this at a briefing, saying “the essence of our not treating it is to ensure the full implementation of the 2012 budget”.

Once this has been ascertained through the oversight of the MDAs, then we can now consider the 2013 budget. “

Mohammed  dismissed reports that some members want the Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal impeached, adding that the unity of the House was not negotiable.

The House also  cleared the air on its Tuesday call on the President to sack the  Director General of Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Ms Arunma Oteh, denying that it was based on personal interests.

He said the House’s position was on the ground of the findings in the recent investigation by the  committee which probed the near collapse of the capital market .

Explaining the stand of the House on the 2013 budget, Mohammed said the focus of the Chamber now is on full implementation of the 2012 budget. “Our focus is on the 2012 budget not 2013”.

Asked if the position of the house was responsible for the non-presentation of the budget to the National Assembly, the house spokesman reiterated that the chamber has resolved not to have anything to do with the 2013 Appropriation until it verifies that” this year’s budget has  been implemented.

Mohammed’s submission incidentally  came on the day that the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, met with the  chairmen and vice chairmen of committees of both chambers of the National Assembly  to brief them on the level of implementation of the 2012 budget and what to expect in 2013 proposal.

Rep Mohammed confirmed the meeting which lasted till yesterday evening. He, however, did not give details of what transpired in the meeting.

Commenting on the reported plot by some lawmakers against the speaker, he feigned knowledge of such move. He said “I don’t know where you journalist got your information, I told you what transpired at the executive session , definitely not what you reported”

Challenged that a chairman of a committee in the House told newsmen that such move was made against the Speaker, he insisted that he had no idea of the reported plot.

It  was however  gathered late  yesterday that the leadership of the House brokered a truce with aggrieved members who are questioning the financial standing of the House .

One of the aggrieved members who pleaded for anonymity told newsmen that “we have resolved our differences, we only wanted an explanation from the leadership on how things are going here and he did explain to us.”

The source also explained that the intention of the aggrieved lawmakers was grossly misrepresented in the press “as all we wanted is to be briefed on our financial position.


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