Senate Approves Buhari’s ‘Unconstitutional’ Request To Amend 2016 Budget
The Nigerian Senate, on Tuesday, November 29, 2016, approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to amend the 2016 budget by re-assigning funds initially appropriated for special intervention programme, to address urgent recurrent and capital items.
The Senate, however, added N33 billion to the president’s request of N180 billion bringing the total figure to to N213.821 billion.
The executive arm of government had earmarked N500 billion in the 2016 budget for social programmes.
Speaking on the floor of the Senate on Monday, November 28, 2016 the deputy senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, urged the Senate to approve the request, but pointed out that the process through which the president brought the proposal was unconstitutional.
He said the president ought to have brought a supplementary budget and not a request for virement.
In October, President Buhari had written to the Senate asking for a transfer of funds appropriated for special intervention in the 2016 budget to other exigent items.
In the earlier letter read on the floor of the Senate and House of Representatives, President Buhari said the request was necessary because of the shortfalls in provisions for personnel costs and inadequate provision for the Amnesty Programme.
President Buhari also stated that the fund virement was needed to cover for the inadequacies in the National Youth Service Corps budget where an additional 8.5 billion Naira is required to cover the backlog of 129,469 corps members who are currently due for call up but would otherwise be left out till next year due to funding constraints.
He said the Special Intervention Fund would also fund Service Wide Votes for Police Academy, Operation Lafiya Dole, Subsidy, Nigerian Air Force and the Presidential Initiative on North East among others.
source – thetrentonline