- Category: Politics
- Published on Friday, 18 March 2011 07:59
- Written by Compass
- Hits: 1806
The House of Representatives yesterday rose up in defence of the 2011 Budget increased by N700 billion by the National Assembly as against what was contained in the proposal presented by the Presidency.
President Goodluck Jonathan had proposed a budget of N4.22 trillion to the National Assembly but the parliament eventually passed N4.97 trillion.
Following this, the National Assembly passed a budget which consisted of N2.46 trillion as total recurrent expenditures (Non-Debt) with N1.56 trillion earmarked for capital projects.
The Chairman, House Committee on Media and Publicity, Eseme Eyiboh, who stated the position of the House, declared that the country has experienced an upsurge in criminal activities as there are news of bomb blasts as well as terrorists’ acts all over the country.
He said: “The government must be proactive to tackle the challenges of national security, especially as the country goes into the general elections; you are aware of the recent threat coming from MEND (Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta) that it would bomb oil installations in Abuja and Lagos.”
Eyiboh, who explained the delay in the passage of the budget, attributed it to the Executive over bearing influence which forced the House Committees to make alterations and adjustments at every point.
He noted that the lawmakers had to seriously study the situation in the international oil market to safely fix the oil benchmark at $75 per barrels, even as they had to be meticulous in the process of getting at other variables upon which the indices of the budget were predicated.
Eyiboh, however, said the House expressed regrets that some of the 31 revenue generating agencies may not have complied with the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act by not forwarding their appropriation proposals to the National Assembly.
He said: “The NNPC (Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation) has yet to comply with the Federal Responsibility Act but the National Assembly has no executive power to compel it to do so.”