Senate Threatens To Suspend Work On 2018 Budget Over Presidency Failure
Nigeria Senators yesterday threatened to suspend passage of the 2018 budget estimates following the failure of the presidency to keep its promise to implement, at least, 40 percent of the 2017 capital budget and roll over the remaining 60 percent to 2018.
The threat followed points of order (42 and 45 ) moved by the Deputy Leader, Bala Ibn Na ’ Allah who pointed out that the chamber would fall into trouble waters should it move ahead to pass the budget this year as earlier planned. He said the senate made the plan without knowing the constraints embedded in the 2018 budget proposal as presented .
The senate also accused the economic team of unseriousness, and said the ministries, departments and agencies appeared unprepared with verifiable documents to defend their 2018 proposals.
The lawmakers want the 2017 budget implementation to be extended to March 31 to allow the capital projects to be executed so that the 2018 budget will commence from April 1.
Dino Melaye said”: “ There is an outstanding N 1.4 trillion stamp duty that has accumulated with the Central Bank (CBN ) but has not been remitted into the federation account. “In 2016, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC ) was supposed to pay over N 300 billion as IGR into the federation account, but no kobo was paid and no kobo has been paid in 2017. All these revenues are hanging and we say we are fighting corruption.
“It is time for the senate to ask these agencies of government to remit such monies. Why are we borrowing when we have monies scattered in the MDAs. The issue of discussing 2018 budget does not arise. We must make sure that the 2017 budget is properly implemented.
“We keep hearing that more releases are made in order to implement the budget but up till now there is no prove whatsoever that the budget has been implemented beyond the 12, 15 percent that we knew in most MDAs. ”