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Senate dumps 2013 budget amendment, gets revised version

By on July 1, 2013

The Senate has received a revised version of the 2013 Appropriation (Amendment) Bill after discarding the earlier one submitted by President Goodluck Jonathan.

The development is coming after the House of Representatives on Wednesday formally killed the bill as it argued that it was a new bill, not an amendment.

Leader of the Senate, Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN), told our correspondent on Sunday that the Senate would not be considering the budget amendment earlier sent by President Goodluck Jonathan.

He said the bill was an entirely new budget instead of an itemised document specifying areas for amendment.

He said, “We were expecting an itemised amendment to the budget. The President had said he was presenting an amendment with areas of priority. But what we got was an entirely new budget document.

“We certainly cannot take that budget. But the President has assured that he would send a review of that budget to us.”

Ndoma-Egba also said he was not aware the review document had reached the Senate, but noted that the House of Representatives had received it.

He said, “I am not aware that communication has reached the Senate. You know how correspondence comes; all correspondences are sent directly to the President of the Senate. So, I am not aware it has been sent.”

But the Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Joy Emodi, confirmed on Sunday that the reviewed amendment budget had been submitted to the Senate.

She said while the document was submitted to the House of Representatives earlier, it arrived at the Senate late on Thursday.

“We have sent it to the Senate. Such documents don’t necessarily have to arrive at the same time at the two chambers. The House of Representatives got it earlier, but it came late to the Senate,” Senator Emodi said.