Reps set to pass 2014 appropriation bill today
Members of the House of Representatives are expected to pass the N4.642 trillion 2014 budget today after the senate passed it yesterday.
The budget report was laid on the floor of the House yesterday by chairman of the committee on appropriations, John Enoh (PDP, Cross River).
Announcing the budget consideration, Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal requested members to attend today’s sitting so that the budget would be considered and passed.
However, the lawmakers had held a closed door meeting for about two hours on the budget to address areas of disagreement with the Senate.
It was learnt that the meeting was necessitated by issues raised by some lawmakers who had vowed to scuttle the budget consideration until when members return from their Easter break due to what they called “poor performances of last year’s budget.”
But Tambuwal who presided over the meeting pleaded with the lawmakers to allow the budget sail through so that government agencies could begin work.
A source told our reporter that some of the lawmakers insisted their quarterly allowances must be paid before they would pass the budget but Tambuwal reportedly pleaded with them that it was already underway.
A breakdown of the budget shows that N2.43 trillion is for recurrent (nondebt) expenditure; N1.1 trillion is for contribution to the Development Fund for capital expenditure; N712 billion for debt service, while N399.687 billion is for statutory transfers.
The budget proposal was laid on the floor of the House on December 19 last year following weeks of foot-dragging between President Goodluck Jonathan and the National Assembly on the oil benchmark. While Jonathan proposed $74 per barrel, the two chambers settled on $77.5 per barrel.