Reps set to pass 2014 ap­pro­pri­a­tion bill to­day

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Musa Ab­dul­lahi Kr­ishi & Ibrahim Kabiru Sule

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.

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