By Livinus saint Kaior- Abuja
The Nigeria President Dr. Good luck Jonathan has on Wednesday submitted the 2013 amendment budget proposal and the subsidy reinvestment and empowerment programme (SURE-P) amendment budget proposal. The president noted the accelerated hearing and passage of the 2013 budget in a record time as a demonstration of an enduring partnership between the two arms of government in discharging a shared responsibility for nation building.
In a letter to the senate President, senator David Mark dated 14th March 2013 obtained by newsdiaryonline.com, president Jonathan reminded the senate of various consultative meetings with the leadership of and various committees of the National Assembly following the passage of the budget, it became imperative that certain provisions including cuts to personal cost across the service and provisions for some capital projects be changed through an amendment budget which he has now submitted to the senate for consideration and approval of these revised proposals in an expeditious manner.
He further stated that the 2013 Appropriation act includes clauses which may be injurious to the spirit of separation of powers and which could hamper the work of the Executive arm of government. President Jonathan specifically requested the Nigeria senate to review the following clauses: a. 6(ii)which states that ‘the Accountant General fo the Federation shall forward to the National Assembly full details of funds released to the government agencies immediately such funds are released; while clause 9 states that; All Accounting Officers of ministries ,parastatals and Departments of Government who control heads of expenditures shall upon the coming into effect of this Act furnish the National Assembly on quarterly basis with details information on the internally generated revenue of the agency in any form whatsoever’.
According to Dr. Jonathan’s letter, all the clauses stated above run counter to the established chain of reporting. b. Clause 7 states that “The Minister of Finance shall ensure that funds appropriated under this Act are released to the appropriate agencies and/or organs of government as at and when due, provided that no funds for any quarter of the fiscal year shall be deferred without prior waiver from the National Assembly. C. Clause 10 states: “All revenue however described including all fees received ,fines, grants, budgetary provisions and all internally and externally revenue shall not be spent by the security and Exchange commission for recurrent or capital purpose or for any other matter, nor liabilities thereon incurred except with prior Appropriation and approval by the National Assembly” .