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JUMBO PAY: WE'RE NOT AWARE OF N50BN OVERHEADS CUT - SENATE

By NBF News
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Senate has said it is unaware of the proposed cut of its 2012 overheads expenditure by as much as N50 billion by the Presidency.

Senate Spokesman, Enyinnaya Abaribe told newsmen yesterday that consultations between the National Assembly and the Executive was ongoing on the presentation of the 2012 budget.

He reiterated that based on the meetings between the two arms of government, the National Assembly was optimistic that the new budget would still be presented this month.

'I do not know when the budget is going to be presented. We were told last time that it will be some time in November, so now that we are in November, we are looking forward to getting the budget from the executive. I think all the consultations have been done now and we expect that we will get the budget within this November.'

On the N50 billion cut by the Presidency, Senator Abaribe noted that there was a standing agreement that overheads would be reduced beginning from next year.

'Until we see the budget, we will know what has been done. If somebody tells you this is what has been done when we have not seen the actual figure, we cannot deal on the basis of speculation.

'But one thing is certain, we have reached a consensus between the executive and the legislature that the cost of running the government is too high and that there will be a need to cut down the cost of government and I think that that will be the general trend in this particular budget.

'So we are looking forward to seeing the budget and how much has been cut in terms of running the government.'

He also dismissed insinuations that the report of the Senate ad-hoc committee on the activities of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) would not see the light of day.

'The committee asked for more time after the public hearing because they still have to make more visits to particular areas (to clarify) things that came out of the public hearing.

'I think in a very short while, the report will be out. I promise you that the report will not be buried. No report that will come out of the Senate will be buried; it will be brought out and it will be open to the public because we want to ensure that we have good governance in Nigeria and the only way you can do that is to be sure that whatever you find out, ensure it is not buried.'

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