Friday, October 21, 2011

BUDGET 2011: Why we stopped Jonathan – Tambuwal

20 October 2011

ABUJA—THE Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwwal, yesterday revealed why the House of Representatives rejected President Jonathan’s request to alter the approved 2011 budget three months to the end of the fiscal year 2011.

Giving reasons why the federal lawmakers stepped down President Goodluck Jonathan’s N98.4bn virement bid, he said that the proposal was more of an amendment than virement.

Tambuwwal offered this explanation while fielding questions from State House correspondents during his visit to the seat of power, Aso Rock. In financial language, Virement is the transfer of funds already allocated from one sub heading to which it has been allocated, to another. This is usually the case when more pressing issues arise in the cause of implementing a budget that required financial provisions and the government is not in the financial position to ask for a supplementary appropriation to meet those areas of challenge.

President Goodluck Jonathan had in a letter dated September 27, 2011 sent a request to the House, seeking to move funds originally budgeted in the 2011 appropriation act for nine ministries, departments and agencies to other sub-headings.

The specific areas for which the budgetary alterations were being sought include the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, N33,107,575,020; Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCDA), N17,067,478, 034;  Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, N6,374, 772, 436;  Federal Ministry of Education, N1,008, 054, 745;  Police  Formations and Commands, N5,434,005,870; and Federal Ministry of Justice, N64,245,818. Others are Federal Ministry of Health, N10,001,043,718;  Federal Ministry of Aviation, N13,523,057,226; and Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, N7,487,536,489; Ministry of Defense (Army), N2,843,232,350; Public Com-plaint Commission, N80, 336, 650; National Sports Commission, N1, 454, 893, 610.

Jonathan, in his letter, made it clear that certain difficulties in the implementation of the 2011 budget made the request imperative.

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