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Reps summon Okonjo-Iweala

03 July 2013, 10:04

Abuja - The House of Representatives on Tuesday summoned Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to appear before its joint committees on Appropriation, Finance, and Legislative Compliance over comments on 2013 amendment budget.

It said that the subsisting 2013 budget should be implemented to the letter irrespective of any proposal before the National Assembly.

The three committees are expected to report back to the House on July 9.

Okonjo-Iweala allegedly said Nigeria's economy would collapse by September  if the National Assembly failed to pass the 2013 budget amendment  proposal before it.

The minister’s summoning was sequel to a motion moved by Rep. Samson Osagie (ACN-Edo) which was unanimously adopted without debate.

According to Osagie, the assertion by the minister is not only to blackmail the National Assembly but to incite Nigerians against the legislature.

Osagie said that there was a subsisting and valid Appropriation Act duly signed into law which was in operation for the 2013 financial year.

He said that the executive arm of government was deliberately delaying or exercising undue tardiness in the implementation of the budget.

The legislator said that the pending of the amendment budget proposal before the legislature was not an excuse for non-implementation of the 2013 budget.

"The minister of finance has consistently insulted the sensibilities of the institution of the National Assembly through her comments," he said.

He said that the National Assembly was alive to its responsibilities and would not be stampeded or blackmailed by any appointee of government.

Meanwhile, the House had urged the executive arm of government to prosecute all those involved in oil theft.

It mandated an Ad hoc Committee to ensure compliance on the issue of putting automated metering system on oil wells, flow heads and export terminals.

The resolution emanated from a motion by Rep. Aliyu Madaki ( PDP-Kano) on the urgent need to check incessant crude oil theft in the country.

According to Madaki, the volume of stolen oil has adversely affected oil production.

He said that engaging a private firm to man the nations's waterways had worsened the level of oil theft in the country.

 - NAN


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