Senate snubs debate on tardy parastatalsâ€™ budget
The senate rebuffed an attempt by the chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Senator Ita Enang, to reintroduce the 2014 Budget Proposal of Federal Government Parastatals for consideration by the Senate yesterday.
The budget proposals of the 52 parastatals created serious confusion among the senators many of whom wondered why the document was coming seven weeks after the National Assembly has passed the entire 2014 budget profiles into law.
The document contained the 2014 budget estimates for 52 federal agencies which include the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), etc.
Trouble started immediately it was presented to the senate for deliberation by the deputy leader of the Senate, Abdul Ningi, as listed on the Order Paper. Ningi had in his presentation said, 'That the Senate do consider the request of the President and Commander-in â€' Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the 2014 budget proposal for the following federal government parastatals ….'
However, senators, one after the other, expressed confusion and wondered where the document or correspondence was coming from seven weeks after final consideration of the N4.6trillion 2014 budget.
Senator Smart Adeyemi (PDP Kogi West) took the first shot when he described the request as contained in the document as nothing but returning the already passed budget to the Senate for reconsideration through the back door.
'To me, this request as purportedly made by the president and presented here by the deputy senate leader is very strange indeed because we have already passed the 2014 budget several weeks ago. Presenting to us another request to consider budget estimates of some federal agencies believed to have been captured in the original budget is totally unacceptable total budget estimates passed.
' This to me , Mr President Sir, is unacceptable because what the generality of Nigerians are waiting for now, is for Mr President to sign the already passed 2014 Budget into law and not reconsideration of any budget estimates', he said. â€' Leadership.