By George Okoh
After three months of deliberations, the Benue State House of Assembly Wednesday passed state’s 2012 Appropriation Bill of N112.78 billion.
The approved estimate is over N7 billion higher than the N105 billon earlier submitted to the Assembly by Governor Gabriel Suswam.
Speaking to journalists after the passage of the Appropriation Bill, the Speaker, Hon. David Iorhemba, said the increase was effected after the authorities of the teaching hospital and other government departments had been invited to defend their proposals for the fiscal year.
Iorhemba explained that N58.68 billion was approved for recurrent expenditure while capital expenditure stood at N54.09 billion.
He said a budget deficit of N23 billion was approved by the House and allayed the fears that such a deficit may distort the estimates.
The speaker said the Assembly expressed concern over the wide gap that existed between the state’s planning commission and the budget office and directed the two government organs to immediately bridge such a gap so as to pave the way for smooth budgeting and implementation.
He also said the Assembly discovered during the debate that the state’s revenue board and the Ministry of Finance did not relate well, so, the two establishments were directed to synchronise their operations in the interest of probity and accountability.
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