From Uche Nnorom Makurdi
Benue State House of Assembly yesterday passed the State’s Appropriation Bill of N190.030 billion for the 2018 fiscal year.
The passed bill was an increment of over N11 billion over the N178.3 billion which was presented to the Assembly by Governor Samuel Ortom last December.
The passage followed clause by clause consideration of the report of the House Standing Committee on Appropriation on the 2018 Appropriation Bill, in the Committee of Supply, chaired by the Speaker, Mr. Terkimbi Ikyange.
Chairman of the House Standing Committee on Appropriation, Barr. Adam Okloho, who led debate on his committee’s report earlier, explained that the eleven billion naira (11 billion) is as a result of exclusion of some on-going projects by the Ministry of Finance and additional request by Public Sector Entities (PSEs) for inclusion of some critical projects which were omitted from the initial estimates.
Main features of the 2018 Appropriation Bill as passed include, N81.9 billion for Recurrent Expenditure, N108 billion for Capital Expenditure while deficit financing stands at N35.1 billion.
Announcing the passage of the bill after its third reading, Speaker, Mr. Terkimbi Ikyange intimated that a proviso has been introduced in the bill to compel the Ministry of Finance to stop releasing monies to Public Sector Entities on items that are not captured in the budget, noting that such practice contravenes the Appropriation Law.