By Henry Umoru & Joseph Erunke
ABUJA- THE Senate Tuesday passed a total sum of N574,532,726,857 as supplementary budget for President Muhammadu Buhari to be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation.
The approved N574,532,726,857 is for additional Recurrent( Non- Debt) Expenditure for the year ending on the 31 st day of December, 2015.
The Senate however jerked the original supplementary budget as submitted by President Buhari by N108,895,800,000, just as it said that the increase was designed to accommodate the said amount as additional funding for fuel subsidy for the months of October, November and December, 2015.
With the additional N109 billion by the Senate for fuel subsidy, it would now amount to N522,258,934,505 as against the backdrop that the President in the letter to the Senate had requested for N413 billion for fuel subsidy, just as N5,000,000,000 was approved as Victims Support Funds in the Capital Supplementation which would be re- classified to the Service Wide Vote of N559,217,800,017.
The Senate also approved a total sum of N29,958,865,512 to fight Boko Haram Insurgency in the North East and payment of outstanding claims in order to ameliorate the suffering of Nigerians under the heading, operation Zaman Lafiya, and of the approved money, Nigerian Army will get N17,468,992,640; Nigerian Airforce, N8,141,434,760; Nigerian Army outstanding balance from 2015 and second quarter, N4,348,438,112
It would be recalled that the Senate had penultimate Wednesday received a supplementary budget of N465,636,926,857 from President Muhammadu Buhari for consideration and approval.
President Buhari who also sought an upward review of the new borrowing plan from N882.1billon to N2.103trillion, had said, “The expected deficit arising from the above is projected at 2.103 trn or 2.19 per cent of GDP to be financed by additional borrowing of 1.601 trn through the debt management office.”
The approval of the Senate was sequel to the report of the Senator Danjuma Goje led Committee on Appropriations on the 2015 Supplementary Appropriation Bill.
Earlier, the senators broke into an executive session for one hour as part of moves to discuss the appropriation bill and give the President a soft landing by passing the budget and as a follow up to last Thursday’s dinner the Senators had with President where collaboration and synergy among the Executive and Legislature were emphasized.
Presenting the report, Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriations, Senator Danjuma Goje said, “the Committee observed that: The provision for subsidy payment only covers year 2014 arrears of N120.5 Billion and the claims of January – September, 2015 of N292.8 Billion.
“There is need to provide additional funding in the sum of N108,895,800,000(One Hundred and Eight Billion, Eight Hundred and Ninety-Five Million, Eight Hundred Thousand Naira) only for fuel subsidy for the months of October, November and December 2015 to endure that the 2016 Budget takes off on a clean slate( this issue came up in the course of clarification of the total subsidy need for the year ending 2015, by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources;
“The provision for Victim Support Fund in Capital Supplementation should have been made in the Service Wide Vote since it is a Federal Government contribution to a fund managed by a Committee which is not an MDA of Government;
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