2017 BUDGET: Osinbajo seeks NASS approval to re-allocate N136bn

The acting president, Yemi Osinbajo has written the National Assembly for approval to redirect the spending of N135.6billion in the 2017 budget meant for 14 Federal Ministries and the Office of the Secretary of Government of the Federation (OSGF).

Osinbajo in a letter to Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and dated July 18, 2017, said the virement was to cover up for the decision of the lawmakers to slash allocation for some major projects.

The letter reads: “You will recall that the 2017 Appropriation Bill was signed into law on June 12, 2017.

“However, prior to the signing, discussions and consultations were held between the Executive and the leadership of the National Assembly on some critical priority items for which adequate provisions had not been made in the 2017 Appropriation Act. “You would also recall that it was agreed that the Executive should submit a virement proposal to the National Assembly for your consideration.

“The purpose of this letter, therefore, is to forward the virement proposal.

“The amount of virement being proposed is N135, 643,081,749.
“In the light of the above, I implore you to urgently consider this virement proposal in order to support our collective efforts to improve the wellbeing of our citizens.”

Dogara, who read the letter to members at plenary, later referred it to the House Committee on Appropriation for further actions.

It would be recalled that the executive, especially the minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola had traded words with the lawmakers over how the lawmaker cut the budget of some items in his ministry’s budget, after his defence of the estimates.

He specifically decried what he said was the reduction of allocation for projects such as the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and the 2nd Niger Bridge by the National Assembly.

He also lamented the insertion of projects such as primary healthcare centres and boreholes in the budget after the budget defence.

But the House of Representatives had criticised Fashola, for his comments on the input of the National Assembly on the 2017 budget.

House Chairman of Committee On Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazak Namdas, in a statement said the minister’s comments were part of “the pattern adopted by elements in the executive arm of government to delegitimise the 2017 Appropriation Act”, which was signed into law by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.

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