Budget 2013: Executive want Senate to rubber stamp figures - Gemade

By The Citizen


The chairman, Senate Committee on National Planning and Poverty Alleviation, Senator Barnabas Gemade, PDP, Benue North/West, yesterday, gave an insight into the face-off between the Executive and the Senators, explaining that the executive wanted a situation where the figures sent must not be tampered with.

According to Gemade, the  controversy which was brewing between the two arms of government, was  whether or not the National Assembly has the power to appropriate, just as he said the Federal Government believed that it can decide the level that appropriation should go from one activity of government to the other.

He noted that one of the reasons why there was budget logjam, was that  the executive arm of government presently  believes that the National Assembly does not have the power to interfere with budget appropriation to Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government.

Gemade, however, warned that the position of the  executive arm on the powers of the National Assembly on appropriation negates the relevant provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

He further argued that the public hearing will be an avenue to speak on the over loaded nature of the Ministry of Finance, as well as the 2013 budget, adding that his committee would examine the appropriateness of the current functions and placement of the Budget Office of the Federation whether it was rightly situated or it was discharging its functions optimally.

He explained that the public hearing came from a motion moved by Senator Olubunmi Adetumbi, which among others, seek to draw the attention of the Senate and the public to the need for a review of the budgeting process and return to the era of long and medium term planning, instead of the ad hoc, annual planning currently adopted by the Federal Government.