Saturday, 23 February 2013

CONFUSION!!! Jonathan Must Sign The Budget on 27 Feb Or - House of Rep.

**Our only crime is including only N63 billion to fund projects in our areas.
**Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, is the “major stumbling block” to the signing of the budget.

The deadlock between President Jonathan and some members of the National assembly remains abated, as the President refused to sign the 2013 budget till the House remove the N63 billion the added to the original draft.

The House on their own are sticking their gun, insisting that they will not remove the amount, which they claimed is for projects in their local communities.

Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts, Mr. Solomon Olamilekan, said in Abuja on Thursday that the House would not make concessions on the budget.

Hon Olamilekan added that “February 27 is the deadline. We cannot continue to wait while the year is going and Nigerians are suffering.

“We said February 27 because that date will take care of every excuses of delay here and there.

“The President sent a budget of N4.9tn to the National Assembly and we passed a budget of N4.9tn with just a difference of N63billion.

“Let them come and tell Nigerians what their problem is. They should itemise them because there is no sub-head in the budget that has no explanations.

“There is nothing that we are going to drop from the budget; we won’t meet any of their conditions.”

Jonathan had sent a budget estimate of N4.924tn but the lawmakers returned N4.987tn for his signature.

Olamilekan, a member of the Action Congress of Nigeria, said the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was the “major stumbling block” to the signing of the budget.

He accused the minister of insisting that her ideas, and not the “collective interests of the Nigerian people expressed through their representatives,” should guide decisions of the Federal Government.

The lawmaker added, “Our only crime was that the government should fund projects that are already ongoing rather than abandoning them for new ones.

“Nigerians will be informed accordingly as developments unfold. As a legislature, we are not afraid to do what is constitutionally required.

“I am sure that the National Assembly will act appropriately.”

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