Saraki tasks committees to hasten work on 2017 budget

Budget

N’Assembly summons AGF over non–release of N500m to NCPC
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, yesterday tasked Senate Committee chairmen to hasten legislative work on the 2017 budget proposal presently being defended by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government (MDAs).

Saraki, who gave the directive during a closed door meeting with the chairmen and leadership of the upper chamber, asked the lawmakers to critically look at the budget estimates of the various MDAs with a view to ensuring accountability.

Speaking with reporters after the meeting, Chairman, Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi West), gave details into what transpired during the meeting.

He said: “We discussed the budget and the Senate president said we should expedite action on the passage of the budget. He also asked that critical areas in the budget be properly investigated and looked into.”

President Muhammadu Buhari had in December last year presented to a joint session of the National Assembly a N7. 298tn budget proposal. The figure represents 20.4 per cent increase over the sum appropriated for 2016.

Meanwhile, both the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Foreign Affairs yesterday summoned the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris, to explain the alleged non release of N500 million to the Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC).

Chairperson of the joint committee, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu, (APC Oyo Central) stated this during the 2017 budget defence of the NCPC.

According to her, it was highly disappointing for the AGF not to honour the invitation of the committee when he knows that he is at the centre of the issue to be deliberated upon as regards non-release of money to the commission.

“The committee will not continue with the 2017 budget defence of the Commission until he appears before it unfailingly tomorrow (today) by 12 noon,” she fumed.

Chairperson, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Nnenna Ukeje said that the National Assembly would continue to hold agencies of government accountable for the sustenance of democracy.



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