2014 Budget Scales Second Reading In Senate

Source: thewillnigeria.com

BEVERLY HILLS, February 04, (THEWILL) - Senators on Tuesday unanimously pushed the 2014 Appropriation Bill through the crucial second reading on the floor of the Senate.

The Bill was consequently referred to the Committees on Appropriation and Finance  and all other relevant committees for committee works and to enable the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) defend their proposals.

The Committees were detailed by the Senate to work on the budget and report back to plenary in two weeks' time.

Nonetheless, most senators vowed to tinker with the proposals.

The Bill, which is for an Act to authorise the issue from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation the total sum of N4.

642trn was laid before the Senate chambers by the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala , in December just before the lawmakers embarked on Christmas break.

However, the highpoint of the session was the participation of the  All Progressives Congress (APC) Senators   in the four day budget debates in defiance their party's directive to block all bills and other executive legislation from President Goodluck Jonathan.

The APC National Executive Committee (NEC) had directed its members in the National Assembly  to block all 'legislative proposals, including the 2014 Budget and confirmation of all nominees to military and civilian positions to public offices until the rule of law and constitutionalism are restored in Rivers State in particular, and Nigeria in general.

' However, contributing to the debate on Tuesday, Senator Olubunmi Adetumbi (APC, Ekiti) decried the series of wastage in expenditure welfare package running into millions of naira Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, said the debates were revealing, as some lawmakers brought issues of wastage, over bloated figures, issues of neglect and abandonment of some on-going projects.

He also explained that the beauty of democracy is the separation of powers between the executive and the legislature, adding that the constitution is clear on the issue of budget "The job of the executive is to prepare the budget and our job is to edit the budget, our committees should look critically at the budget to check cases of wastages," he said Ekweremadu however charged the committees to liaise with their counterparts in the House of Representatives in order to ensure a speedy passage of the budget.