Budget Speech: Reps ask Jonathan to keep off - P.M. News

Budget Speech: Reps ask Jonathan to keep off

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The hope of early passage of Nigeria’s 2013 Budget was put in jeopardy Thursday as members of the House of Representatives asked President Goodluck Jonathan to shelf his planned presentation of the document to the National Assembly.

President Jonathan had written the National Assembly last week to inform the lawmakers of his desire to present the draft Appropriation Act to a joint sitting of both chambers next Thursday 4, October.

Aminu Tambuwal, the Speaker of House of Representatives who presided over plenary however said he will liaise with the leadership of the Senate to reach a compromise on the appropriate date for the budget presentation.

But the House after an exhaustive debate today asked the President to stay away until members conclude its ongoing oversight on the implementation of the 2012 budget, and is satisfied that a good job has been done in execution of the projects listed in the document.

The lawmakers had during their plenary discussed the possibility of receiving the President for the presentation of the Budget next week and asked Abdulmumin Jibrin, the chairman of House Committee on Finance to brief it on the interactive sessions the Committee is having with Ministries Departments and Agencies of government.

Jibrin informed the House that the Committee still have quite a number of the MDAs to interact with.

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He also said the Committee has not had enough time to consider the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF submitted to the lawmakers on their resumption about a week ago.

Besides, the House also said its members will go to the respective constituencies to ascertain the execution of the capital budget.

With this, lawmakers unanimously agreed that the budget proposal should be suspended until the House concludes its findings on the budget implementation.

Consequently, Jibrin told representatives of Federal Ministry of Finance at a meeting at an interactive session on MTEF this afternoon that the House will not be ready to receive the President for the Budget presentation next week.

The Ministry team at the meeting with House Committee on Finance was led by Yerima Ngama, Minister of State for Finance and Bright Okogwu, Director General of Budget Office.