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Reps ask Okonjo-Iweala to submit 2014 budget estimates

12 February 2014, 14:11

Abuja - The House of Representatives has directed the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to submit to the House, estimates for 31 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

The submissions are to be made available before the conclusion of consideration of the budget.

This directive was given after the House adopted the recommendations of  the report of a six-man committee it set up to determine whether the executive had complied with extant rules in submitting the budget proposal to the National Assembly.

 The House on January 4 constituted a six-man committee to advise it on the propriety of continuing debate on the budget based on issue of breach raised by Emmanuel Jime

Jime in his motion had urged the House to reject the budget as laid by the Executive for non-compliance with the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007.

Presenting the report, Albert Sam-Tsokwa, chairman of the committee, said section 21 Jime relied on does not in any way contradict section 81 of the 1999 Constitution.

Tsokwa said that Jime's point of order was well founded and sustainable but advised the House to continue with the consideration of the budget in the national interest.

“Hon. Jime's point of Order is well founded and sustainable. However, considering national interest, the House of Representatives should proceed with the consideration of the 2014 Appropriation Bill.

“The Minister of Finance is requested to comply fully with the mandatory provisions of Section 21 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act before the conclusion of consideration.

In a remark, Speaker Aminu Tambuwal said that the report would further guide the house in passing the budget.

He noted that many members allowed their personal interest to becloud national interest.

Tambuwal enjoined members to moderate their utterances on the floor of the House as they contribute to national issues.

The speaker maintained that based on the importance of the Bill, the house would proceed with the consideration but added that, the minister should comply the provisions of the Act.

-    NAN

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