Senate Approves N6.6B For 50th Anniversary Celebration

Source: EMMA UCHE -
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ABUJA, July 21, (THEWILL) - President Goodluck Jonathan got his N6.6 billion naira to celebrate Nigeria’s 50th anniversary courtesy of a Senate approval today.

Jonathan had previously requested N16 billion naira until the public outcry made him reduce it to N6.6 billion naira.

The Senators also passed the N4.427 trillion naira 2010 revised budget.

Of the N6.6billion, the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) was allocated the sum of N3.324 billion; Ministry of Foreign Affairs, N600 million; Ministry of Information and Communications, N1.720 billion; Ministry of Culture, Tourism and NOA, N820million; Ministry of Women Affairs, N105 million; and the National Planning Commission, N135million.

The sum was contained in the N644.7 billion naira 2010 supplementary appropriation which was also passed by the Senators.

Out of the amount, N505.628 billion was set aside as additional recurrent (non-debt) expenditure, while the sum of N139.124 billion is for contribution to the development fund for additional Capital expenditure for the year ending on December 31, 2010.

Recall that the President had on July 7, 2010 sought a slight amendment to the 2010 supplementary appropriation in additional to the slight amendment to the 2010 amendment budget.

The thrust of the supplementary budget is anchored on the following; ‘public service wage adjustment; payment of two months arrears to ASUU; Wage increase for core civil servants; wage increase for universities; wage increase for medical professionals; feeding allowance/stipends for ex-militants of the phase II amnesty integration programmes and payment of PHCN arrears.

On the 2010 revised budget, President Jonathan had also sent a revised revenue framework and request for slight amendment budget proposal.

The revised revenue framework is based on assumptions for oil production of 2.2million barrels per day as opposed to the 2.350 million barrels per day, which was the approved assumption in the 2010 Appropriation Act as well as the 2.250million barrels per day as contained in the first amendment request. The federal government also proposed a new benchmark of US$60 per barrel.

The revised budget also includes revision in the budget of some MDAs like; State House, Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air-Force, Intelligence Community, Ministry of Aviation, Ministry of Health, Federal Capital Territory and Foreign Affairs.

The reductions according to the President was informed by the recent drop in the price of oil on the international market and shortfall in non-oil revenue.

"These shortfalls in revenue pose serious challenges for financing the level of aggregate expenditure originally recommended in the 2010 Appropriation Act", he said.

The amendment also takes care of certain critical items that were either inadvertently omitted or under-provisioned for, such as; Statutory Transfers, Debt Service, Service-wide Votes among others.