Reps tackle presidency over N18b diversion, okays N152.897b budget for FIRS

Members of the House of Representatives at a plenary. PHOTO: TWITTER/DOGARA

The House of Representatives yesterday opposed the presidency plans to move N18 billion Northeast Intervention Fund meant for utilization by the Presidential Committee on North East Initiative(PCNI) to fund a pilot project, known as Bama initiative.

In a motion, Muhammad Sani Abdu (APC, Bauchi), said it would be unconstitutional to domicile funds, set aside for sensitive government programmes, in accounts of non -statutory special committees.

Worried by the development, the House set up a nine -man panel to conduct investigation into the alleged plans to move the funds, which Abdu said, ought to be kept in a consolidated pool account in the Office of Accountant General of the Federation.

Membership of the committee drawn across the six geopolitical zones in the country, including three other members, has Edward Pwajok (APC, Plateau) as chairman.

According to Deputy Speaker of the House, Yussuff Lasun, who announced the committee membership, the panel has two weeks to conclude its findings.

Bama is a community in Borno State, North East Nigeria earmarked by the Federal government for rehabilitation, following its devastation by Boko Haram.

The House also approved N152.897 billion budget for Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) for 2017.

Breakdown of the amount, according to the report of the House Committee on Finance, presented on the floor of the lower legislative chamber by the committee chairman, Babangida Ibrahim, showed that N75. 812 billion was for personnel cost while N46.487 billion represented cost for overhead.

The other component of the sum, according to Ibrahim, showed N30.597 billion as representing capital expenditures.

Members considered the budget in the Committee of the Whole, jointly presided by the House Speaker Yakubu Dogara and Deputy Speaker, Yussuff Lasun.

Dogara said the budget is to enable the revenue body meet up its responsibility for the year.

Meanwhile, the Speaker yesterday accused men as being responsible for the woes of women in politics in the country.

Declaring open the 6th Annual Women in Parliament Summit in Abuja, the Speaker stressed that the failure of women in politics was due to men feeling of insecurity.

In the forum organised by the House Committee on Women in Parliament, chaired by Evelyn Oboro (PDP, Delta), Dogara explained that the odds against women’s participation in politics and government were enormous, saying that “the problems and challenges facing women participation in politics in Nigeria in spite of modest strides are deep rooted.”



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