N'ASSEMBLY GETS N4.648TR REVISED 2012 BUDGET
The National Assembly has received a revised 2012 budget of N4,648, 849,156,932, almost a week after Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Finance Minister, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala announced cuts in the budget being considered by the National Assembly.
President Goodluck Jonathan presented a N4.749 trillion budget to the National Assembly without any provision for oil subsidy.
It also emerged yesterday that the Senate Committee on Appropriation might likely summon some ministers whose ministries are central to the proposed cuts in the budget.
Sources on the committee told Daily Sun that, 'the committee needs some explanations concerning the cuts. Definitely, the finance minister, as well as some other ministers would be invited to shed light on the adjustment of the 2012 budget.
In a February 15 letter to Senate President David Mark, the president explained the rationale behind the revised budget and government's plan to revise its 2012-2014 revenue framework.
A part of the letter reads: 'I seize this opportunity to express my gratitude for the enduring productive partnership between the National Assembly and the Executive arms of government in discharging our shared responsibility for nation-building and I note, with thanks, the patriotism, commitment and support the distinguished members of the Senate have consistently demonstrated.
'Recent domestic developments, key among which was the partial withdrawal of subsidy on petroleum products and the ripple effect on government revenue and expenditure items have necessitated the revision of the 2012-2014 medium-term expenditure framework and the 2012 budget proposal which I presented to the National Assembly on December 13, 2011.
'In this respect, I hereby forward copies of the revised 2012 budget proposal. It is my hope that the distinguished Senate will kindly consider and approve these revised proposals expeditiously.'
In the new budget estimates read by Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu at yesterday's plenary, a copy of which was obtained by Daily Sun, N372,593,095,601 is for statutory transfers while N559, 580,000,000 would go for debt service. Recurrent expenditure for 2012 would gulp N2,432, 108,877 and only N1,284,243, 952,454 is for contribution to the development fund for capital expenditure for the year ending on December 31, 2012.
A further breakdown showed that N7 billion would be used for recurrent adjustment and N3.5 billion was allocated as 'logistics support for 2012 election.'
Entitlements of former presidents and heads of state, vice presidents and chiefs of general staff, including Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Generals Muhammadu Buhari and Ibrahim Babangida is expected to gulp N3,185,100,000 while N70.176 billion has been voted for the presidential amnesty programme.
Total servicewide votes for 2012, in the revised budget is now N383,489,921,530 and another N15.6 billion voted for 'contingency.'
The executive has been scheduled to spend a total of N842, 925, 838, 692 billion as its capital expenditure for the 2012 fiscal year and N435, 416, 577,490 is voted for capital supplementation.
A hefty N87 billion would be used to settle staff of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) in government's ongoing privatisation of the corporation.
Also in the capital supplementation fund of the executive, government has signified intent to settle local contractors' debt with N7.047 billion.
Meanwhile, in the revised Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) of the Federal Governnment, N180 billion of the subsidy funds would be spent on some capital projects in the ministries of works, Niger Delta and transport.
Government has also said it would provide some social safety nets and infrastructure projects including maternal and child health, public works for youths, mass transit (N8.9 billion) which will gulp N38.4 billion.
In the new SURE programme, government has budgeted N21.7 billion which would cover the dualisation of the East-west roads while in the works ministry, some critical roads, including Abuja-Abaji, Abuja-Lokoja, Kano-Maiduguri as well as Benin-Shagamu and Ajebandele-Ofosu roads would be rehabilitated.
For the transport ministry, N33.36 billion would be used to for the Lagos-Kano, Port Harcourt-Maiduguri and Kaduna-Abuja roads.
Under the servicewide vote, the SURE-Programme board has been allocated N1 billion.