Senate: N1trn Projects Smuggled into 2012 Budget

15 Feb 2012

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Senate Committee

•President seeks lawmakers’ approval to borrow $7.9bn

From Kunle Akogun and Onwuka Nzeshi in Abuja

The Senate Committee on Appropriation has announced that some ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of government secretly smuggled over N1 trillion on projects into the N4.7 trillion budget for 2012, and may have shot up the budget to N5.7 trillion.

This disclosure coincided with the approval sought by President Goodluck Jonathan from the National Assembly to borrow $7,905,690,000 to enable the Federal Govern-ment execute pipeline projects under the Medium Term Fiscal Framework (2012 – 2014).

It also emerged yesterday that the National Assembly may complete legislative works on the 2012 Appropriation Bill next week.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Ahmed Maccido, who opened the can of worms on the padding up of their respective budgets by the MDAs, alleged that over 40 per cent of the projects were not captured in the budget presented to the National Assembly by the president on December 13 last year, adding that the National Assembly would discard the projects.

He said: “These projects were smuggled into the budget by the MDAs and we at the committee level would jettison them because they are not in the original budget.”

Maccido insisted in a statement that the committee would subject the budget to thorough scrutiny to expunge all the unauthorised projects.

The Appropriation Committee chairman said: “The problem is that we are seeing projects that are not in the original version of the budget presented to us by President Goodluck Jonathan and substantial parts of these projects are being smuggled into the budget by the MDAs and ministers.

“Over 40 per cent of the projects in the budget were not in the original budget. And we are saying no to this.
“The items so smuggled into the budget are over N1 trillion. So we are right now comparing the budget as originally presented by the president and the version presented by the MDAs.

“Unless these projects were there in the original budget, we are going to scrap them. It is no longer going to be business as usual.”
However, Senate President David Mark has given all the Senate standing committees up to tomorrow to complete their submissions on the budget to the Committee on Appropriation to enable it finalise all necessary legislative action on their submissions.

Setting the deadline, Mark said in the event any committee fails to make its submission, the Senate would be forced to take the budget estimates for the MDAs under the oversight supervision of such committees as presented by the Presidency.

Expatiating on the Senate president’s directive later at a press briefing, Senate spokesman, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, said: “By next week, the budget consideration process would have been completed and we would set up a harmonisation committee of the two chambers to iron out any grey areas that might occur in the versions passed by each of the chambers.”

Abaribe added: “By the end of February or early March, the budget will be passed.”

Meanwhile, President Jonathan yesterday sent a list of pipeline projects under the Medium Term Fiscal framework (2012 – 2014) to the National Assembly for inclusion in the 2012 – 2014 External Borrowing Plan.

For the purpose of executing the pipeline projects, the president sought the approval of the lawmakers to borrow $7,905,690,000 in the three years or $2.64 billion a year.

In two separate letters he sent to Mark and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, and read on the floors of both chambers yesterday, Jonathan said the proposed loan is a cumulative facility offered by the World Bank, African Development Bank (ADB), Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Exim Bank of China and Indian lines of credit.

He said the loan would be used to fund “a number of special initiatives designed to put the economy back on track through growth and employment activities geared towards the implementation of the government’s transformation agenda”.

Tags: Featured, Nigeria, News, Smuggled into 2012 Budget




Comments (8)

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    That era has pasted , FG be smarter as the criminal s will be more creative now in stealing .

    From: DANIEL

    Posted: 3 years ago

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  • I don't understand how items can be smuggled into the budget already with the national assembly. did the MDA's bring their own budget? or did they ask for more money? Who are the MDAs ? some senators need to be circumspect with words.

    From: tiara bubu

    Posted: 3 years ago

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  • what would be the consequences of padding up the budget with unapproved project: a pat on the back to the MDAs, So that's enough to serve as a deterrent! we would be waiting for the recommended sanctions to such airing MDAs during the course of the debate/appropriation of the budget.

    From: Omoregie

    Posted: 3 years ago

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  • If Mr. president has decided to borrow some money, he did not make the decision on his own...............can we at least see the end game of this action?

    From: austin bueze

    Posted: 3 years ago

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  • it would not be out of place for these yearly amounts to be borrowed from the foreign reserve?

    From: A

    Posted: 3 years ago

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  • This is criminal. Senate should endeavour to unravel this criminal act, and bring all those involved to justice, to serve as deterrent to others. In fact, all those incriminated should be shown the way out of service, and at the same time jailed for plotting this heinous crime against the Nigerian people.

    From: A Kwagai

    Posted: 3 years ago

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  • it's a pity that we are yet to define ourselves in this country. we found ourselves in an unpalatable debt by our past leaders hiding under the guise of developing the nation by bringing one cock and bull budget ,project innovation that are very unrealistic. it is obvious that this present administration is going to put us into this shackle of debt again where were this MDAs when this budget were being planned. this is too outrageous as nothing good comes out of vision less leaders . Nigerians be wise.


    Posted: 3 years ago

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  • When will this greed end. Are these thieves taking money to thier
    graves. Do they realise death can knock on thier doors anytime
    Who will own this money they are stealing. Grow up children

    From: Zara Howe

    Posted: 3 years ago

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