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Senate Concludes 2016 Budget Debate

  • Refers Bill to Committeessenate concludes budget debate

The debate on the 2016 budget continued this morning. Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso gave special attention to feeding of school pupils in the budget saying it was one initiative he embarked on as a governor of Kano state which facilitated unprecedented school enrolment.  He commended the single treasury account and the zero based budget which will curb corruption and streamline expenditure.

Senator Duro Faseyi took exception to the capital and recurrent expenditure while picking holes in provision for abandoned and ongoing projects submitting that government is a continuum. Faseyi decried poor funding for the air force which he chairs saying air power of any nation can only be indicative of her readiness to secure citizens particularly when weighed with the strides taken by the Nigerian Air Force in the war against insurgency.

Senator Danjuma Goje lamented the diversification mantra without corresponding action, stressing the timeliness of these circumstances to prop and galvanize agriculture and solid minerals. Senator Goje mentioned the sum 5.4 trillion trapped funds in Asset Management company of Nigeria AMCON, saying such funds could be released to fund the budget.

Senate Minority leader, Godswill Obot Akpabio describes the budget as ‘uncommon budget’, coming at a time the oil price is falling uncontrollably. Senator Akpabio is worried by the disproportionate allocation between capital and recurrent. Akpabio says the allocation to judiciary is so paltry that dispensation of justice is already encumbered. He holds same view with allocation to the NDDC particularly when viewed against outstanding debts owed the commission while suggesting the aggressive exploration of gold deposit between Adamawa and Kano state which he said towers above south Africa reserves.

Senator Obinna Ogba in his submission queried the high allocation to information at the expense of trade and investment. Senator Isiaka Adeleke backs taxing of luxury goods and borrowing the funds trapped in Amcon.

Senator Foster Ogola went ethnic claiming Bayelsa state and the Ijaw nation had been excluded ab initio by the provisions so far and called for the alterations of the medium term expenditure benchmark to forestall such exclusion of Bayelsa in 2017 budget.

Ogola suggested the sharing of the national budget into 6 to reflect the 6 geopolitical zones so that each zone and state can relatively prioritise their budget.

Senator   Abdulahi Adamu hails revenue plugging and open looting of National treasury while commending emphasis on non oil revenues as well as increase in capital expenditure from 15% in 2015 to 30% for 2016 which will propel employment while welcoming subsidy for agriculture, provision for 500 000 teacher employment as boost for national development with great emphasis for adherence to the provision of fiscal responsibility act.

Senator Bala Ibn Nallah toed the line of taxation and less emphasis on non oil receipts. Nallah says such will activate accountability as the premium on tax will be high.

Saraki in his summary noted that the emphasis on Agriculture does not reflect in the proposed figures; need to have accurate immediate, mid and long term adjustment plans with a need to equitably distribute the National budget. The senate president stressed the need to block leakages with zero budgeting formula appropriately deployed. He charged finance committee to actually scrutinise the revenue estimate.

He charged committees to engage relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies for budget defence while giving the Appropriation committee February 24,2016 as deadline to represent the budget for further legislative action.

The senate has thus concluded the second reading of the 2015 budget while committing it to the committee stage.

Meanwhile, the senate mourned the Tor Tiv.

Meanwhile the senate spokesman, Senator Sabi Abdulahi briefed senate correspondents on the next step with the chairman, senate committee on Appropriation, senator Danjuma Goje. Briefing newsmen, Senator Goje said the appropriation committee shall send circulars to all committees which are now sub-committees of the appropriation committee in the interim, which shall budget hearing with MDAs on Thursday, January 28,2016.

Goje further stated that that Friday, February 12, shall be the date for submission of reports by subcommittees to the Appropriation committee which shall harmonise and present to the senate on February 24, 2016.

Senate Clears Ministerial Nominees

Published on: 2015-10-14 00:05:45 Hits : 13655
Senate Clears Ministerial Nominees No filibustering Final list released Screening continues Contrary to expectation today, the Nigerian Senate has cleared all Ministerial nominees with no filibustering. They are Mr. Kayode Fayemi, Chief Audu Ogbeh, Osagie Ehanire, Am...


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