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Budget amendment scales second reading at Senate

By on July 24, 2013

The controversy surrounding the amendment of the 2013 budget might have been laid to rest as the Senate read the bill for that purpose for the second time on Tuesday, acceding to the proposals of the executive.

Leader of the Senate, Victor Ndoma-Egba, while leading the debate, said the amendment bill sought to authorise the issue of N4.987tn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation.

Further breakdown of the budget amendment proposals has N388.06bn for statutory transfers; debt service, N591.76bn; recurrent expenditure, N2.419tn; and capital expenditure, N1.589tn.

According to Ndoma-Egba, the areas of amendment in the budget are categorised as critical and important expenditures.

He said, “Some capital projects, the allocations of which were reduced in the previous amendment, are now restored in this amendment to promote national development, among others.

“The total amount restored amounted to N78.54bn as contained in the letter forwarded to the National Assembly by the President.”

Ndoma-Egba noted that personnel cost was cut across all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies, which would pose some difficulties in the running of the agencies, adding that there was the need for the cuts to be restored to maintain industrial harmony.

The breakdown of the cuts, which the President wanted restored, included SURE-P, N18bn; works, N25.5bn; health, N10bn; power, N16.3bn; transport, N3.1bn; and education, N5.64bn.

On SURE-P, Ndoma-Egba said the N18bn cut from the agency’s budget “will have the adverse effect of severely undermining our capacity to create jobs needed for our teeming unemployed youths, women and physically-challenged citizens.”