Reps pass N4.695trn 2014 budget
The House of Representatives yesterday passed the 2014 budget of N4.695 trillion despite attempts by a lawmaker to scuttle the process.
The Senate passed its own version of the budget on Wednesday.
Daily Trust reports that the federal government had tabled the sum of N4.642 trillion before the National Assembly last December but the lawmaker tinkered with it and passed N4.695 trillion. This showed an increase of about N53 billion from the initial sum.
A breakdown of the budget showed that N2.454 trillion is for recurrent (non-debt) expenditure; N1.119 trillion is for contribution to the Development Fund for capital expenditure; N712 billion for debt service, while N408.687 billion is for statutory transfers.
But the initial breakdown of the budget indicated that N2.43 trillion was meant for recurrent (non-debt) expenditure; N1.1 trillion for contribution to the Development Fund for capital expenditure; N712 billion for debt service, while N399.687 billion was for statutory transfers.
House spokesman Zakari Mohammed later told journalists that they had to “be on the same page with the Senate,” hence their resolve to approve the N4.695 trillion.
However, a member of the House from Yobe State, Rep Goni Bukar Lawan said the N2 billion the federal government intends to use to revive the North-East economy was not enough.
But speaker Tambuwal noted that the northeast intervention budget was one of the issues the senate president and himself discussed with President Goodluck Jonathn in their meeting the previous night.
Tambuwal said the president had explained to them that the amount was only an interim one and that as a takeoff grant, there is the possibility of further commitment by the government.
There was also an attempt by Rep Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers) to scuttle the budget passage, arguing that the details for the budget were not provided.
But the lawmakers unanimously kicked against the move with minority leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, saying going by House rule, nobody could stop budget consideration proceedings once it has kick started.