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2013 BUDGET: SENATE GIVES COMMITTEES NOVEMBER ULTIMATUM

By NBF News

President of the Senate, David Mark
The Senate has asked all its committees to ensure that they submit their reports on the 2013 budget by the end of November.

The committees are expected to begin work on the budget after the resumption of the Senate next Tuesday.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Information and Media, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, told our correspondent on Monday in Abuja that work on the budget would commence next week, with the ministries, departments and agencies of government coming forward to defend their estimates.

He said the MDAs would also be required to defend their 2012 budget implementation in the face of fears that the budget might not be fully implemented before the end of the year.

Abaribe also said that the ultimatum to committees was to ensure that the budget estimates for 2013 were passed by the Senate before the Christmas recess.

'We have up to the end of November for committees to finish their work on the 2013 budget, because we have to pass the budget in December,' he said.

The Senate spokesman said the committees could not commence work on the budget after its presentation because of the holidays, promising that work would be expedited at the resumption of legislative business.

On the claims that the total releases to the MDAs for capital projects for 2012 had reached N1tn, Abaribe said monitoring would be done by the committees.

'The committees have the mandate to find out how the 2012 budget was implemented, while considering the 2013 estimates. There is no doubt that there will be a thorough oversight on the issues,' he added.

The Senate's passage of the budget in December will only be meaningful if the House of Representatives also passed the document at the same time, given that both chambers will still need to harmonise the differences in the versions before the budget will be ready for enactment.

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