Reps claim uncovering N90b ‘bogus insertion’ in ministry’s budget
As the squabble between the Executive and Legislative arm over the power of appropriation rages, the House of Representatives yesterday said it unearthed a “bogus insertion” of N90 billion in the 2017 budgetary proposal presented by President Muhammadu Buhari last December.
Its spokesperson, Abdulrazak Namdas, told reporters yesterday in Abuja the questionable sum was discovered in the estimates of the Ministry of Works, Power and Housing.
He further clarified the cut in the allocations for both the Second Niger Bridge and the Lagos-Ibadan expressway in the appropriation bill which is at the heart of the altercation between the minister, Babatunde Raji Fashola and the National Assembly.
Faulting the minister, who accused the lawmakers of altering the budget to satisfy their selfish goals, he maintained that Sections 4, 59, 80, and 81 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) vested in the National Assembly the power to appropriate in line with the wishes of Nigerians.
Namdas, who is also a member of the House Committee on Works, claimed that Fashola’s grudge may not be unconnected with the decision to turn down two of his ministry’s “bogus budgetary provisions under the guise of miscellaneous expenses and environmental impact assessment (EIA).”
He went on: “When I told the minister that they budgeted N17 billion for environment impact assessment (EIA) in the Mambilla, we felt it was unjustified. We felt it was bogus and uncalled for. He did not fault what I said. What he said was that it was a misdirection and we should have called his attention.”