Senate Panel Fails To Lay Revised 2020 Budget Report
The consideration of the revised 2020 Appropriation Bill of N10.51 trillion suffered setback in the Senate on Tuesday.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriations, Senator Barau Jibrin, said the panel was not ready to lay the report as listed on the day’s Order Paper.
According to Jibrin, the non-inclusion of the full amount of N500billion proposed COVID-19 intervention fund delayed the printing of the report.
He told the Senate that of the N500billion only N314billiion was captured in the revised appropriation bill leaving out a balance of N186billion.
He said despite the fact that the Committee drew the attention of the Budget Office and the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning to the anomaly, they failed to rectify the oversight with a letter as agreed with them.
Jibrin said: “The report on the revised 2020 budget is not ready because of the N500 billion proposed intervention fund in respect of the COVID-19 pandemic, only N314 billion is actually captured on the budget leaving N186 billion that has to do with the health sector.
“In the actual fact, it is captured in the MTEF but of the N500 billion captured in the MTEF only N314billion is captured in the Bill itself.
“What has not been captured has to do with the health sector but it is core. It is fundamental to that intervention.
“So we had to draw the attention of the Budget Office and indeed the Minister to this obvious error.
“In that process we sat with the DG (Director General) Budget Office who was insisting that they thought that since the full amount was captured in the MTEF, there was no need for it to be captured in the full budget.
“But we said no, that would be against Section 80 and 81 of the Constitution. Every kobo must be captured in the Bill.
“So we placed a call to the minister and explained to the minister that there is a need to actually reflect the full amount in the budget and that there is need for a letter telling us to include that into the Bill.”
available to all the Distinguished Senators tomorrow (Wednesday) and then we consider the report on Thursday.”