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2011 BUDGET: SENATORS DIVIDED OVER N98.46BN VIREMENT

By NBF News
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Senate President David Mark on Wednesday described President Goodluck Jonathan's request for movement of funds from some critical ministries in the 2011 budget as 'totally unacceptable'.

The Senate president said this during consideration of the president's virement proposals in respect of the 2011 Appropriation Act for the following ministries, departments and agencies: Federal Ministry of Niger Delta, Federal Capital Territory Administration, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Federal Ministry of Education and Police Formations and Command.

Others are: Federal Ministry of Justice, Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Ministry of Aviation and Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development.

Not totally against virement, the Senate president asked why 'contingency' would get N8 billion while other MDAs had their 2011 allocations completely wiped out.

He also expressed worry about the fate of the ministries from where the funds would be vired and how such money would be spent.

'We can't take money from a specific project and put on contingency. That's totally unacceptable…We ought to be careful'

His words: 'When the matter goes to the Appropriation Committee, it will look at all the details because taking money from ministries for contingencies purpose is unacceptable.  So, the Committee on Appropriation and other relevant Committees should take note and be very thorough in their job.'

Referring the president's request and proposal to the committee, Mark called for caution adding that the MDAs pencilled for virement are 'sensitive in nature'.