2012 budget poorly implemented – Lawmakers

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Some lawmakers have tasked President Goodluck Jonathan with ensuring proper implementation of the 2013 budget to forestall a recurrence of the failures the previous one had.

They said the National Assembly was set to exercise its statutory powers in the execution of the budget.

The National Assembly  had on December 20, 2012, passed a budget of N4.987tn for 2013. The lawmakers had raised the N4.924tn originally proposed by President Goodluck Jonathan by about N63bn.

Chairman, House of Representatives’ Committee on Diaspora Affairs, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who spoke to our correspondent, said the House would carry out its responsibilities in ensuring that the budget was adequately implemented. She threatened that government offices which erred in the implementation process would be sanctioned.

She said, “As a National Assembly, we have carried out our statutory role by passing the budget. The implementation is left with the Executive. However, we are going to carry out our oversight function in the implementation.

“We will hold any ministry, department and agency responsible for its actions and inactions in the dispensation of funds for developmental projects. The 2012 budget did not fare well, as less than 30 per cent of it was implemented.”

Also, the Vice-Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Adegbenga Kaka, said the Senate was not impressed with the implementation of the 2012 budget.

Kaka, who represents Ogun-East Senatorial District, said while the implementation of the recurrent budgetary allocation for 2012 was almost 100 per cent while the capital suffered a huge setback.

He said, “We felt bad with how the 2012 was poorly implemented. While the principal officers of the Senate are to determine the next line of action on the implementation of the 2013 budget, it is a considered opinion of the House that the implementation of the 2012 capital budget is extended till April 2013.

“As for the implementation of the 2013 budget, we planned that its implementation will begin on January 1, 2013. It is now left to the presidency to accept or not. The budgets were to run concurrently till April. The 2013 budget is still with the President for his assent.”

The Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Joy Emodi, had reportedly blamed the delay in signing the appropriation bill into law on delayed transmission of the budget to the President.

However, the National Assembly on January 2, 2013, through the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, and the Chairman, Senate Committee on Information and Media, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, denied the claim, saying the budget was sent to the President on December 21.

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