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Published On: Fri, Apr 13th, 2018

April deadline for budget passage sacrosanct – Reps

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By Christiana Ekpa

The House of Representatives on Thursday said that April deadline for the passage of 2018 Appropriation Bill remained sacrosanct.
This was even as the Green Chamber stressed that Federal Government would not withdraw any money from the federation account without the approval of the National Assembly.
The Executive and the Legislature arm of Government have accused each other of delaying the process of passing the bill designed to run a budget cycle of January to December.
Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazak Namdas told newsmen yesterday that the National Assembly was working assiduously to ensure the deadline was met.
Namdas, however, said that the House had attained an advanced stage of passing the budget.
“By the special grace of God we will do everything humanly possible to ensure that this budget is passed by April. We have reached an advanced stage of approval, we will lay it and later approve it all within this month,’’ he said.
On Federal Government’s approval of 1 billion dollars to purchase equipment to fight insecurity, Namdas said that no money would be withdrawn from the federation account without the approval of the National Assembly.
He added that the House had yet to receive communication from the presidency requesting the approval of the national assembly.
“We have not received any communication from the presidency although we have read in the papers that they are putting heads together waiting for approval before it is presented to us.
‘The House will expedite action whenever the communication comes from the executive. You are already aware that appropriation is entirely the work of the parliament and no money will be withdrawn from the federation account without the approval of the national assembly.
“Anytime we receive this communication from the presidency the house will actually expedite action and work on it.
“If we so get it on time it will be in the 2018 budget but if we don’t get it early probably it will be a supplementary budget. But certainly it must be appropriated before anything is done.”

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