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Presidency says $1bn security fund undergoing legislative processes

A Presidential aide, Sen. Ita Enang, says the one billion dollars security fund has not been approved for spending by President Muhammadu Buhari as it is still undergoing legislative processes.

Buhari presenting 2018 budget to joint NASS session

Enang, who is the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly matters (Senate), stated this when he addressed State House correspondents on the controversy surrounding the approval of the security fund by the president.

He said Buhari only met with the Minister of Defence, Service Chiefs and the Inspector-General of Police, among others to collate the need of each of the Services and the money available for appropriation.

“President, having received approval of sum from National Economic Council made up of all the Governors, now had a meeting with the Minister of Defence, Service Chiefs and the Inspector-General of Police, among others to collate the need of each of the Services and the money available for appropriation

“That Mr President and the meeting having collated the need of each Service and the amount involved may now present same to the Federal Executive Council for detailed Consideration, or in exercise of Presidential powers may communicate same to the National Assembly for appropriation.

“That this may be done as usual upon Mr President consulting prior with the leadership of the National Assembly through the whole body of principal officers or the presiding officers of each chambers only, before originating the communication to the National Assembly.

“That as at now, the process of approving the money for use is inchoate and still undergoing Executive standard operating procedure before laying same before the National Assembly for appropriation.’’

Cue out audio – Enang

According to him, the processes now being worked on is to fast-track this procedures so that it may be forwarded to the National Assembly while it is still considering the 2018 Appropriation Bill (Budget) for incorporation as President’s supplementary request under the 2018 budget.

He said in the alternative, the request may be forwarded to the National Assembly as supplementary Appropriation Bill if deliberation on the 2018 budget had been finalized.

The presidential aide therefore maintained that the President had not approved the said amount ($1billion) for any release of this procurement or application howsoever

He said: “In any case, before any sum is released from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, there must be Appropriation Act; Vote of Charge and Warrant which is legally predicated on appropriation authorization Sub-head under the Act

“That the Executive is conscious of the provisions of the Section 80 (3) and (4) of the 1999 constitution which states:

“No moneys shall be withdrawn from any public fund of the Federation, other than the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation, unless the issue of those moneys has been authorized by an Act of the National Assembly.

“No moneys shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund or any other public fund of the Federation, except in the manner prescribed by the National Assembly.’’

He said the Buhari administration was also conscious of the provision of Sections 4 and 5 of the 2017 Appropriation Act (relating to Excess crude Account) and would not take any action in breach thereof.

He added that the matter of the security fund was undergoing standard processes, saying that “the sum can only be spent upon, and in the manner as shall be approved by the National Assembly, and Assented to in Appropriation Act or supplementary Appropriation Act.’’

NAN


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