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Reps to Tinker With 2013 Budget as Lawan Frets Over Escalating Debt

By on October 20, 2012


The House of Representatives said yesterday that it would streamline the 2013 budget proposal to support capital projects.

The house stood by its $80 oil price benchmark, against the President’s $75 contained in the appropriation during the closing of a debate on the N4.9trillion budget.

The lawmakers articulated dissatisfaction at the marginal step up of five per cent in capital expenditure from the 2012 budget.

Fueled by the development, the house decided to divert funds that are not essential to some Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDA) to Capital expenditure.

During the debate the Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Abdulmumin Jubrin, in defence to the $80 oil price benchmark, said the budget suggestion already has reliability issues, as most MDAs know nothing about the document.

 He said, “The said Committees should painstakingly go through the proposal and ensure that only those things that are essential and necessary for the development of those MDAs are allowed to pass.”

“The savings should be committed to areas of necessary capital side of the budget and more importantly to areas where we can make the best of provisions of the budget to our teeming youths.”

Jibrin maintained that, the failure of most MDAs to make use of their funds appropriately might be because of participation, which makes accessibility of the allocation almost impossible. He however called for the investigation of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) and the Ministry of Finance.

In addition, the Minority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila questioned the basis for the purposeful decline of revenue accumulation to a government that was bent on borrowing massively to service its budget.

Pally Iriase (ACN, Edo) said the budget proposal was burdened with uncertainties, as real allocation for capital expenditure was sickeningly insufficient.

He called on his colleagues not to play politics with the budget, adding that, Capital Supplementation were not lucid.

Farouk Lawan (Kano, PDP) lamented that the government has no plan on how to exit the country’s escalating domestic debts.