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Minister’s comment stalls N352bn budget

By Luka Binniyat

ABUJA – The possibility of passing the N322 billion, 2009  Supplementary Appropriation Bill into law before the end of this month may have suffered a setback as a peeved House of Representatives yesterday said the N66 billion proposed for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the Bill, must be dropped.

That may also jeopardise the N114 billion post-amnesty intervention programmes in the Niger Delta and the N12 billion Railway projects among others.

If the Senate, does not tow the same line, the two chambers of the National Assembly would not have a harmonised 2009 supplementary Appropriation Act for the President to signed into law before the end of the month for any aspect of the budget to be implemented.

Taking turns to speak on the debate on the Bill during its 2nd Reading, the Reps said the Minister of the FCT, Senator Adamu Aliero had impinged on their privileges when fielding questions from newsmen last week that he would never abide by the resolution of the House of Reps because he was not bind by it.

The Minister was alleged to have made the statement when asked if  he was not heeding the resolution of the House of Representatives stopping him from rising land charges in the FCT by 800% and removing speed bumps sewn all over Abuja city. The Speed bumps have been a source of worry for motorist because of their rattling impact on vehicles.

During the debate on the proposed budget, Hon. Leo Dilkon, observed that, “the Minister of FCT asked for N92 billion in this year’s budget”, he said “but somehow he got N118 billion, because of how serious the President regarded his projects”, he said.

“He has not been able to tell us what he has done with that money”, he said.


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