Reps’ Probe Of 2015 Budget Suffers Setback | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Reps’ Probe Of 2015 Budget Suffers Setback

Posted: Sep 10, 2015 at 9:36 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Rotimi Akinwumi, Abuja



The scheduled public hearing into the non-implementation of capital budget contained in  the 2015 Appropriation Act by the House of Representatives was stalled on Thursday as the members of the ad hoc committees tasked with the job  were forced to adjourn sitting because of the absence of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance,. Anastasia Nwobia.

The Permanent Secretary was said to be on President Buhari’s delegation to receive visiting Togolese President in Abuja, Thursday.

Directors from the ministry and officials of the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, Budget Office, Debt Management Office, Fiscal Responsibility Commission, National Planning Commission, and the Revenue Mobilisation,  Allocation and Fiscal Commission were, however, present.

The committee, led by Aliyu Pategi (Kwara APC), expressed displeasure at the inability of Nwobia to appear in spite of the fact that the hearing had been postponed from August 27, 2015 to accommodate her schedule.

Pategi expressed worry on behalf of the House of Representatives at the non-implementation of the N556 billion capital budget, adding that such a development slows down the economy.

Officials of the RMAFC, at the commencement of the committee hearing, tried to exonerate themselves from the issues the committee wanted to look into, saying the commission was not in any way involved in the implementation of the budget.

Members of the committee did not hide their displeasure over the said low implementation of the 2015 budget, especially the capital projects, with members complaining about the effects of such on the nation’s general economy.

“Whatever figures you give us, we will cross check with the Accountant-General of the Federation. Transparency is the watchword of this administration.

“The Appropriation Act is important to the lives of the citizens. If it is not implemented, should we just sit down and not ask why not?” Pategi said in his argument.

Hon. Oluwole Oke (Osun APC) noted that all the agencies present did not submit the correct documents they were requested to bring, as they submitted their agencies’ personal allocation and expenditure documents, instead of documents relating to the national budget.

The hearing was adjourned to Tuesday next week where the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, is expected to make an appearance.