2013 budget: N-Assembly, MDAs fine tune details
By OKEY NDIRIBE & EMMAN OVUAKPORIE
ABUJA — Members of the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Appropriation are meeting presidency officials today to reconcile ‘faulty’ allocations in the 2013 budget approved by the National Assembly.
Today’s meeting holding in the Senate Conference room, Vanguard learnt, is expected to involve essentially Ministries, Departments, Agencies, MDAs, of government that were affected by alleged faults in the allocation of funds in the budget as approved by the National Assembly last December.
The issue of the faulty allocations is at the heart of President Goodluck Jonathan’s insistence on a review of the details before his assent.
While officials involved in the process told Vanguard that it was not a full scale review, they insisted that today’s meeting would be devoted to correcting mistakes in the details of the budget prepared by the National Assembly.
A source also confirmed that the issue of constituency projects will be discussed as the presidency had queried why 2012 constituency projects were rolled into 2013 budget.
The N4. 987 trillion budget was passed by both chambers of the National Assembly on December 19, 2012. It was transmitted to the President for assent on January 14, 2013.
But despite the early passage, President Jonathan declined to sign the Appropriation bill, citing zero allocation to the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC and fixing of the benchmark at $79 per barrel.
Confirming that there are issues with the budget, Minority Leader, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, disclosed that the President picked a hole in the budget bill as passed by the National Assembly. He said the President has communicated to the National Assembly some grey areas causing his delay in signing the budget bill.