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NASS bows to Yar’Adua, cuts 2008 budget by N150.8bn

Posted by By BASHIR UMAR and JAMES OJO, Abuja on 2008/03/14 | Views: 545 |

NASS bows to Yar’Adua, cuts 2008 budget by N150.8bn


At last, President Umaru Yar’Adua had his way on the 2008 budget as the House of Representatives yesterday reduced the budget from N2.8 trillion to N2.7 trillion

At last, President Umaru Yar’Adua had his way on the 2008 budget as the House of Representatives yesterday reduced the budget from N2.8 trillion to N2.7 trillion

The president had raised objection to the increment of the budget by the National Assembly and returned the 2008 Appropriation Bill to the House.

Seeking a meeting point between the presidency and the legislature, an ad-hoc committee, headed by the Deputy Speaker, Bayero Nafada, was set up by the House to look into the various questions raised by President Yar’Adua while returning the budget to the House.

The seven-man ad-hoc committee recommended a reduction of about N150.8 billion from the approved budget, which the House agreed with, thus leading to a reduction of budget deficit of N649 billion submitted by the president to N134 billion.

Similarly, the committee deleted the contentious clauses 8 and 13 in the N2.8 trillion earlier passed by the National Assembly as demanded by Mr. President.
The clauses among others would have required the Finance minister to obtain the approval of the National Assembly before any expenditure vote is reduced, even in the event of revenue shortfalls.
At yesterday’s plenary sitting, the Senate, on its part, received a report which showed that over N150 billion has been slashed in order to conform to the presidential request to give Nigeria an “adjusted budget”, a clean copy of which would be forwarded to the president for assent soon.

Adopting the report of the joint committee chaired by Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, to review the president’s observations on the budget figures earlier sent to him by the National Assembly, Senate also approved the reduction of the total recurrent expenditure by N48, 800, 859, 319.

Also affected is the Capital Expenditure for the year, which has been reduced by N107 billion while the Federal Government independent revenue was also reduced by N100 billion.

Briefing newsmen after the presentation, Appropriation Committee Chairman, Iyiola Omisore, noted that the legislature has learnt its lessons from the 2008 budget, with a firm promise that next year’s budget would “not suffer the same fate.”

By the budget, there was a downward adjustment in statutory transfer to the National Judicial Council by N1 billion, defence allocations N4 billion, transportation N18 billion, National Planning N2 billion, Senate N5.616 billion, House of Representatives N12.384 billion and National Assembly General Services N4.8 billion and judgment debts N2 billion.

Recurrent Expenditure now stand at sum N48, 800,859,319, while Capital Expenditures also show that Agriculture now has N9billion, Federal Capital Territory N11billion, Health N5billion, Interior N10billion, Science and Technology N15billion, Transportation N43.5billion, National Sports Commission N1billion, National Planning Commission N1billion, Code of Conduct Bureau N1billion, Police Service Commission N0.5 billion, and National Assembly N4 billion.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.