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2016 Budget: N500bn Intervention Only Component Not Touched – NASS

Teddy Nwanunobi and Dyepkazah Shibayan, Abuja
Following the passage of the 2016 budget, the National Assembly said yesterday that only the N500 billion Intervention Fund was allowed to scale through untouched as other components in the budget were cut.
The initial budget proposals submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Joint Session of the National Assembly was N6.077 trillion, but the sum passed was N6.060.
Addressing the press, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Danjuma Goje, explained that the N500 billion Social Intervention Fund was not touched because it bordered on giving relief to the poor.
“One of the major components, which has been allowed to go is the N500 billion for the poor, the school feeding, conditional transfers for the generality of Nigerians, “he said.
Speaking on the cut from the initial budget sum to the one passed, Goje said this was done in view of the dwindling oil prices and economic downturn being faced by the country.
According to him, since 1999, this was the first time a budget would be reduced from the initial figures presented by the executive.
The Chairman also advised the executive to adequately consult within itself before sending a budget to the National Assembly so as to avoid the case of ministries disowning their budgets.
He further called on the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to adjust to the zero-based budgeting templates as it was a major challenge faced by the National Assembly.
“We have the constitutional powers to oversight the MDAs with the view that the budget is fully implemented, “he added.
On his part, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation said the budget was not presented on time by the President to the National Assembly, adding that it subsequently affected the timely passage of the bill.

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