Law makers make progress in budget amendment
Latifat Afegbua, Abuja and Agency report
The 2013 Appropriation Act Amendment Bill has passed second reading in the House of Representatives.
The bill seeks to amend the 2013 Appropriation Act to make provisions for some sectors whose allocations were reduced by the National Assembly.
On March 14, President Goodluck Jonathan, sent a request for amendment of the N4.9 trillion 2013 Appropriation Act to the National Assembly for consideration.
The request was, however, rejected by the house based on ambiguity in the document sent for amendment.
It also attributed the rejection to the inability of the executive to clearly spell out the sections it sought to amend.
In his report to the house, Honourable Albert Sam-Tsokwa fromTaraba State, said the request for amendment did not clearly spell out the sections to be amended.
``The purported amendment bill, a five clause bill, is completely and totally silent on what and which sections of the 2013 Appropriation Act it seeks to amend and or repeal.
Clearly, what the amendment bill 2013 seeks to appropriate is more than what was appropriated for the 2013 fiscal year in the 2013 Appropriation Act,’’ he said.
Rep. John Enoh from Cross River, the Chairman, House committee on Appropriation, urged members to allow the bill pass second reading where work would be done on it at committee level.
Rep. Samson Osagie of Edo State said that the amendment to the 2013 budget being sought had generated much controversy in the public.
He advised that the committee on appropriation and other relevant committees should ensure that Ministries, Departments and Agencies were invited separately to defend their personnel cost.
Osagie said that the members of the committee must also insist on knowing the current level of implementation of the budget.
Meanwhile, the House has resumed consideration of the report by its committee on the review of the constitution, with the recommendation for the autonomy of Local Governments receiving a heated debate.
Voting on the report will be done next week.
Speaker Aminu Tambuwal enjoined members to put away any sentiments aside and work for the interest of the country.