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2008 budget passage suffers set back

Posted by From ISMAIL OMIPIDAN, Abuja on 2008/01/08 | Views: 362 |

2008 budget passage suffers set back


There are strong indications that unless the Finance Ministry furnishes the Senate Appropriation Committee with details of how much of past appropriations was placed in private bank accounts by government officials, the passage of the2008 Appropriation Bill may yet not see the light of the day this month.

There are strong indications that unless the Finance Ministry furnishes the Senate Appropriation Committee with details of how much of past appropriations was placed in private bank accounts by government officials, the passage of the2008 Appropriation Bill may yet not see the light of the day this month.

But in a swift reaction, spokesman for the minister, Sanni Zorro told Daily Sun on phone that all the details needed by the lawmakers to do their job have all been supplied to them through the appropriate committees.
The Senate had on request from its committee Chairman on Appropriation, Senator Iyiola Omisore agreed to defer the passage of the budget till today, owing to what he described as the “non-co-operative” attitude of the ministries.

According to him, “the cooperation they (various Senate committees) are receiving from the various ministries has not been encouraging at all. We want to have a good budget this year because a thorough work has to be done. I am in this regard asking for more time for the submission of the report. I want to ask Senate to grant an extension of time for the committee to submit its report.”

Also speaking in the same vein, the Senate spokesman, Senator Ayogu Eze disclosed that the new budget was principally delayed following the discovery of the Appropriation Committee that directors of ministerial departments and agencies arbitrarily place funds appropriated into interest-yielding bank accounts.

Daily Sun gathered last night that the two-week respite granted the Finance Minister, Shamsudeen Usman by the Appropriation Committee to submit both the revenue profile for the 2008 budget and details of the private lodgements lapsed yesterday (Monday), without the minister complying with the directive.

Sources close to the committee further revealed that up till the time of filing this report the minister has neither submitted the revenue profile for the budget nor has he given the exact amount of the past appropriations that was lodged in private bank accounts.
Daily Sun further learnt that the committee was still meeting over an appropriate oil benchmark for the budget, especially considering the fact that the international price of oil has crossed the $100 mark.

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