The Benue House of Assembly on Thursday passed the State’s Appropriation Bill of N190.03 billion for the 2018 fiscal year.

The passage followed clause by clause consideration of the report of its Standing Committee on Appropriation on the floor of the house.

The bill recorded an increment of N11.5 billion over the N178.3 billion that was presented to the Assembly by Governor Samuel Ortom in December 2017.

Chairman of the House Standing Committee on Appropriation, Mr Adam Okloho, while leading debate on the report, explained that the over N11 billion increment was as a result of non-inclusion of some ongoing projects by the Ministry of Finance.

He said it also followed additional request by Public Sector Entities (PSEs) for inclusion of some critical projects among others, which were omitted from the initial estimates.

Newsmen report that the bill as passed included N81.9 billion for Recurrent Expenditure, N108 billion for Capital Expenditure, while Deficit Financing stood at N35.1 billion.

The Speaker, Mr Terkimbi Ikyange, who announced the passage of the bill, stated that a provision has been introduced in the bill to compel the Ministry of Finance to stop releasing fund to PSEs on items that were not captured in the budget, saying that such practice contravened the Appropriation Law.

The Clerk of the House, Mr Terese Agena, then read the bill for the third time.


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