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Budget discrepancy: Senate, Reps summon Finance, National Planning ministers

By Emman Ovuakporie & Johnbosco Agbakwuru

ABUJA—THE Senate and House of Representatives Joint Committees of Appropriation, yesterday, summoned the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, and her Budget and Planning counterpart, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, to appear before it to explain the reasons behind the controversies and discrepancies of figures in the 2016 budget proposal.

File: Buhari during the 2016 budget presentation to the National Assembly.
File: Buhari during the 2016 budget presentation to the National Assembly.

The House of Representatives also rejected the budget document from the Ministry of Education which was completely different from what President Muhammadu Buhari presented to the National Assembly.

Chairman of House Committee on Capital Markets and other institutions,Tajudeen Yusuf, who stated this after an interactive session with the Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST), lamented that the 2016 budget proposal for IST was a duplicate of the 2015 budget proposal.

Yusuf threatened that the National Assembly would also hold the Budget Office of the Federation responsible for various errors and padding observed in the 2016 budget proposal.

This is just as the House Committee on Basic Education, chaired by Zakari Mohammed (APC, Kwara), yesterday, discontinued the consideration of the 2016 budget defence for Federal Ministry of Education and its agencies, including Universal Basic Education, over 30 federal universities, Colleges of Education, among others.

According to Mohammed, the budget presented by the ministry is at total variance to the budget proposal presented to the National Assembly.

Yusuf, who expressed displeasure over the development, however, called for immediate action towards addressing the lingering challenges that might impact negatively on the socio-economic well being of the citizenry.

He said:  “We took the budget of the IST, which is the investment court, unfortunately we realised what was contained in the 2016 budget proposal was just the exact copy of the 2015 budget appropriation; word for word and figure for figure.”


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