Senate To Pass 2013 Budget Today

Senate To Pass 2013 Budget Today

The Senate formally received the treated 2013 Appropriation Bill on Wednesday and will commence deliberation on it when it resumes sitting on Thursday (today) by 2pm.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Mohammed Maccido, laid the budget report on the table.

The President of the Senate, David Mark, said the copies of the budget report would be circulated among senators between Wednesday and Thursday.

He suggested that plenary should commence at 2pm as against the normal 10am, so that the committee would have enough time to tidy up all issues pending on the budget.

Spokesman of the Senate, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, confirmed that the upper legislative chamber would pass the budget on Thursday (today) before adjourning for the Christmas holiday.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives on Wednesday approved the N161.6bn supplementary budget for fuel subsidy.

The subsidy budget passed third reading at the House without any dissenting voice.

President Goodluck Jonathan had sent the supplementary budget to the National Assembly last week, seeking approval to augment the initial N888.1bn voted for subsidy in the 2012 budget.

The lawmakers were divided over the bill last week, with the majority opposing it.

They had demanded the details of the budget, forcing the House to refer it to its Joint Committee on Appropriation/Petroleum Resources to investigate the bill.

But, on Wednesday, the committee reported to the House that Jonathan was “in order” by requesting additional N161.6bn.

The Chairman of the committee, Mr. John Enoh, told the House that the investigation confirmed that over N451bn of the initial N888.1bn was used to settle arrears of subsidy for 2011.

“We established that Mr. President is in order. The committee recommends for approval the sum of N161.6bn as requested,” Enoh said.

The budget was endorsed in a unanimous voice vote.


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