An apparent interference by the Ministry of Special Duties in the affairs of ministries like Works, Education, Health and several other departments and agencies (MDAs) may obstruct the release of allocation to such sectors in the 2014 budget.
Our investigations revealed that the National Assembly is not taking lightly the present interfering attitude of the ministry into the responsibilities of other MDAs in the 2013 budget. Recalled that in a joint meeting of the appropriation committees of
both the Senate, House of Representatives and the leadership of both chambers with the Coordinating Minister for the
Economy and the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and her team, lawmakers made it clear that the interference of the Ministry of Special Duties by discharging the responsibilities of other MDAs would bring confusion and would impede the smooth implementation of the 2013 budget.
A source from the National Assembly, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, expressed shock that irrespective of the resolution of this issue between the National Assembly and Okonjo-Iweala, her ministry had refused to communicate this position to the various MDA’s concerned. He stated clearly that the situation was a clear indication that the Ministry of Finance would stop at nothing to insult the resolution of the National Assembly. According to the source, the Appropriation Act, which was signed by the President remains a law and must be implemented, adding that anything contrary to that will mean that all the agencies involved in the violation of the provision of the 2013 Act will get zero allocation in the upcoming 2014 budget.
Consequently, he advised that these MDAs should henceforth comply with the 2013 provisions to avoid a similar situation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. The 2013 budget was presented to Nigerians early March and Okonjo-Iweala had explained that it was designed against the backdrop of global economic uncertainty.
She had stressed that growth in the United States was forecast to average only two per cent in 2013. Similarly, the near-term outlook for the Euro area, she said had been revised downwards, with growth expected to contract by 0.2 per cent. She had pointed out that Japan was weak, with the Japanese economy expected to expand by only 1.2 per cent in 2013.
Overall, global growth would average 3.5 per cent in 2013, a moderate increase from 3.2 per cent in 2012.
According to her, against this backdrop of global economic uncertainty, the international natural resources map was also