I ‘ll not sign 2013 budget –Jonathan

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…Faults oil benchmark, zero allocation to SEC
•Lawmakers meet today over impasse

From Iheanacho Nwosu, Abuja President Goodluck Jonathan has told the leadership of the National Assembly that he will not sign the 2013 budget, Daily Sun learnt yesterday, even as the leadership of the Senate, that of House of Representatives and officials of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government (MDAs) will meet at 2pm today to reconcile faulty and bogus allocations in the budget. The meeting will hold at the Senate complex. The N4.987 trillion budget was passed by both chambers of the federal legislature on December 19, 2012. It was transmitted to the President for assent on January 14, this year.

However, despite the early passage , President Jonathan has declined to sign the Appropriation . Confirming that there are issues with the budget, Minority Leader, House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamilla, said the President has picked a hole in the bill as passed by the National Assembly. He said the President has communicated to the leadership of the National Assembly on some grey areas causing his delay in signing it. A member of the House, who does not want his name mentioned, said that the President rejected the bill and returned it to the National Assembly because of the pegging of oil benchmark at $79 by the legislature. The executive had proposed $75, but that was rejected by the lawmakers.

He said the President was not happy over the zero allocation given to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the budget by the National Assembly. The latter had hinged the zero allocation to SEC on the continued stay in office of the Director-General, Ms. Arunma Oteh . The House had passed a resolution asking the President to sack her, but the recommendation is yet to be implemented. Another grey area, according to the lawmaker, is the N63 billion added to the original budget proposed by Jonathan. The Presidency equally rejected some aspects of the capital project vote particularly the National Assembly Constituency project. In view of the alleged poor-implementation of the capital projects in the 2012 budget, the National Assembly had rolled over the non-implemented aspects of the capital projects, especially the constituency projects into 2013.

The move was turned down by the President who described it as illegal. The National Assembly had approved N4,987,220,425,601 as the 2013 budget. It comprised N387,976,000,000 for statutory transfer; N591,764,000,000 to service debts N2,386,024,770,349 for recurrent (non-debt)expenditure while the balance of N1,621,455,655,252 is for contribution to the development fund for capital expenditure. The figure passed by the two chambers was N63 billion more than N4.924 trillion original proposal presented to the joint session of the federal legislature by the President last October. On how the leadership of the National Assembly is taking the refusal to sign the budget bill, the lawmaker said the issues being raised by the President are being handled by the two chambers. He said:”This budget wahala ‘problem’ has come again.

The President has returned the 2013 budget that we passed before we went for Christmas break. Although the thing is yet to be made known officially to members, those who have seen it said SEC and benchmark issues were among the grey areas. Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, John Enoh, dismissed speculation that the budget has been rejected, saying the bill is still valid. He said: “All I know is that the budget cannot be returned through the window” The principal officers of the House held a marathon meeting on the matter yesterday. The House leadership met today to find a solution to the problem but we are yet to agree on the right step to take”, he said.

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22 Comments

  1. Who cares? Is this not a yearly ritual? Budget passage has become more occultic to most Nigerians who have benefitted nothing from it. Most of these monies would finally find their way into private accounts. A govt of rogues.

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  3. The issue of budget passage should be a collective transaction. All stakeholders should work for the unity and progress of the nation. One thing i know is that the delay may cause a setback on the president and those saddle for the passage should also at look the grey areas that may have delay the passage, if at all they are working for the progress of the nation.The collection interest of the nation should come first.

  4. Budget is a document that must have input from the executive and the legislature. When the executive is preparing budget, they should know that the legislature must have an input and make provisions for that ab initio. Else the legislature will be taken as Rubber stamp. The legislature on the other hand should know that the executive is in a better position to plan the economy of the nation and therefore only disagree with them where it is crystal clear that the executive is derailing.
    I am one of the people at the level of implementing budget in Nigeria. A situation where executive propose 30million for an establishment and the legislature moved it up to 630million without even giving the extra 600million a budget line shows how reckless they can get in padding budgets for perceived friends.
    Again the meaning of all this is that 2013 for Nigeria is going to be only nine months and 2013 budget has failed on arrival.
    Ordinary Nigerians in the streets may not realize the implications of not passing budget on time. The meaning is that the overhead fund which would have been used to buy diesel for generator for the months of January and February will finally come while the diesel was not bought and used. One way or the other, the money must be used but definitely not for that purpose. Who is losing? Nigeria. Who is gaining? The CEO.

  5. How can The National Assembly stoop so low as to be vindictive? Why would they deny hundreds if not thousands of Nigerian workers the deserved payments because they had a quarrel with Ote, SEC head? Ote told the world that certain ‘hounorables’ in the lower legislative chamber demanded bribes from her. She mentioned the names, presented evidence, the house and Senate must now gang up to persecute not only her but all Nigerians working under that out fit.
    If they are so sure she lied, they should take her to court and seek redress, that is if they really honorable .

  6. Criminals in power.non is patriotic.Ote isn’t d best qualified woman to head SEC.she ought to give way having been controversial.I know d presidency is being careful not to portray its self as being intimidated by d legislature by sacking Ote.but they should do d needful & shove d woman aside to avoid this unneccessary confrontation.to d budget.they are all protecting selfish interests.

    • You are wrong in your judgement. Ote should not be sacked because the NASS is angry with her for exposing bad eggs amongst them. A credible NASS would have applauded her for that. This was what they did when the chief judge of Nigeria refused to swear in justice jumbo, instead of NASS taking their time to find out what happened and why, they started passing resolution that the woman must be sworn in. Of course the CJN stood her ground. Even the lawyers in the NASS are not advising their members appropriately. Else, what is the legal implications of zero allocation to SEC.

  7. OTEH OR WHATEVER, SHOULD LEAVE, WHY IS MR PRESIDENT DIGRESSING IN SENDING HER PACKING???, HE CAN TAKE HER AS HIS PERSONAL SECRETARY AND LEAVE ALL THESE SENTIMENTS WHICH HE IS ADDING IN THE GOVERNING OF NIGERIAN STATE,

  8. The National Assembly is shameless (Reps) their members (Hembe) n othres demanded millions from Oteh to carryout their oversight function and Oteh exposed them n this has become a cause for them to have zeroed zero allocation to SEC. where in dis dis would you will find building of community hall in a budget of a country unless Nigeria in the name of Constituency Allowances

  9. Its a shame that Nigeria is being led by egocentrics and non-patriots. Situations like this, is the time to separate personal interest from national interest. GEJ and the National Assembly should not continue to perpetuate hopelessness in the polity of this country. If there is a stand-off between the executive and legislative arm, the court should be approached for interpretation in line with international best practices. Our national interest should not be sacrificed on the alter of personal or factional ego. Please, we implore GEJ and National Assembly to resolve this stand-off now and stop ridiculing Nigerian government and Nigerians!

  10. What are the Mr President Jonathans reasons for refusing to sign the both National Assys’ Joint Appoved 2OI3 year budjet proposals sent for his signing into law,as the Constituion of Nigeria demands.It will be pertinent to advise both the Executive arm and the National Assembly to sit down together with a view to resolving whatever difference, that shall be to the best interest of all Nigerians. However I wish to advise both arms of the Government that Oil bench mark as proposed and Arumah Otehs issue should not be among the issues for further discussions to avoid heating up the polity.The Preside -nt should,please, post Miss Arumah Oteh to another office as advised by the NASS for sustainance of cor dial relationship btwn both arms of the Gove rnment.But where reasons fails to prevai l,the NASS should apply the Constitution al provisions to veto the President and sign the approved,2OI3 budget into an operati onal/working law to avoid any unecessary delay in the implimen -tation of the aspects that will impact positively in the critical areas of the National Economy.Im however tired with the inconsistencies from the Preridential Aids,recently we were assured by the Preside nts Aid on National Assy matters,Senator Joy Emeodi,PDP that all is well between the President and National Assy on the proposed budget for 2OI3 fiscal year,Senato r Emodi made Niga people to belief that the President will soon sign the budget into Law.If na tough posture the President intends to display,Me want to plead that this is not the good time to exhibit Stubor ness to the Nigerian People.Abeg our dearest President!!!

  11. All this evil men that are causing problems in this country, when you are making comments, you will not use your correct name. Is your name “All Truth”, is your name “The Insider”? You are all evil doers causing confusion in that country. All of you that are calling Black White, will be eliminated soon in that country by God Almighty. Why should National Assembly order for Oteh to be sacked just because she said the truth. PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN WILL NOT SIGN THAT BUDGET.

  12. The Nass has no legal or moral right to insist that ms Oteh should be sacked simply because she exposed their members who demanded for bribe. How can they be so shameless and corrupt to the point of zero allocation to a parastatal. Where in the world do you find constituency project in a national budget. Its a national disaster.why do we have states and local governments in the first place. why do we will need two arms of the Nass? The are redundant. Eighty percent of ignorant men doing the work of lawyers and failing woefully. Late senator Adesanya was in active practice as a lawyer and senator.

  13. Joe boy no sign dat tyn, no sack dat lady dem dey mad, we go soon knw who be who for dis country, NASS wen it happn say na una do evil pass we go soon look into una matter ndi ara, eby gudluck no mind dem, dem must aloccate SEC,remove contituency project nd redress d thievin tactics ok!

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