The House of Representatives has said the amendments proposed by President Goodluck Jonathan to the 2013 budget are not issues requiring urgent consideration. [viralpullquote ]The House of Representatives has said the amendments proposed by President Goodluck Jonathan to the 2013 budget are not issues requiring urgent consideration.[/viralpullquote]
It clarified that the non-passage of the amendments did not affect the implementation of the 2013 Appropriation Act already being executed by the government.
The Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Zakari Mohammed, told reporters on Thursday, “The issues that are being sought (by the Executive) have no spike of urgency around them. Government is already releasing first quarter and second quarter allocations.
“Where are they getting the money from? That means that they are already implementing the budget. People should not bother too much about that budget (amendment proposals), as it does not impede the implementation of the existing Act.”
According to him, it is a difficult task for lawmakers for the Presidency to send amendments that “are almost like a fresh budget; it is like saying that we have to pass a new budget.”
Findings by our correspondent indicated that lawmakers preferred that the government should continue to implement the existing budget passed by the National Assembly on December 20, 2012 to passing the amendments.
Only last week, both chambers of the National Assembly publicly said they were not in a hurry to pass the amendments.
But, Mohammed parried a question on whether the House had taken a final decision not to consider the budget.
“We have a budget that is still being implemented. What is left is the amendments; but we should not bother too much about that. At the appropriate time, the House will look at it,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Senate has said it will commence the process of amending the 2013 Appropriation Act after the receipt of an expected Presidential communication on the matter.
The amendment bill, which is currently before both chambers of the National Assembly, had appeared on the Order Paper several times without getting a mention.
There are indications that the Senate is not keen to consider the amendment bill because of the nature of the alterations being sought by the President.
Leader of the Senate, Victor Ndoma-Egba, told our correspondent on Thursday that the Senate was not responsible for the delay.
“The President promised to communicate priority areas to be addressed. We are awaiting that,” he said.