Abuja - The Senate has approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to amend the 2016 budget by re-assigning N180.8 billion to critical recurrent and capital items.
The Senate’s approval followed the presentation of the report of the Committee on Appropriations led by Danjuma Goje on Tuesday.
President Buhari had on October 20 forwarded a request to the National Assembly seeking approval for a sum of N180.8 billion as a virement to fund shortfalls in the 2016 Budget.
The President said the need for government to augment funds in the federal coffers was caused by renewed militant activities in the Niger-Delta.
In a letter, which was addressed to Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Buhari also sought the approval of National Assembly to borrow $29.960 billion for proposed projects across the country.
Buhari's letter read: “I wish to refer to the above subject and to submit the attached draft of Federal Government 2016-2018 External (Rolling) Plan for consideration and early approval by the National Assembly to ensure prompt implementation of the projects.
“The projects cut across all sectors with special emphasis on infrastructure, agriculture, health, education, water supply, growth and employment generation, poverty reduction through social safety net programmes and governance and financial management Reforms among others.”
The most viable option now is the virement of appropriated funds from heads or sub heads that may be fully utilized before the end of this fiscal year.
While the Senate turned down Buhari's request for the loan, it referred the President's request for virement of the budget to its Committee on Appropriations.
During Tuesday's sitting, the committee submitted its report to the whole house.
The report was unanimously adopted by all members present.
- News 24