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Reps leadership strikes deal on N7.2tr 2017 budget

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•Cedes N5 billion constituency projects to members

To ensure passage of the N7.29 trillion 2017 Appropriation Bill, principal officers of the House of Representatives have reportedly ceded N5 billion cut in their constituency projects to members, across board.

Daily Sun gathered that the decision of the House leadership, to increase the number of zonal intervention projects for members, formed part of the carrots dangled at them during an Executive Session, yesterday, in order to give the 2017 budget smooth sail.

On Tuesday, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Mustapha Dawaki, laid the report on the new budget in the chamber.

Regardless, a lawmaker, who was at the session, yesterday, told Daily Sun, that, to ensure the budget is passed, members were begged on non-delivery of their official cars.

With less than100 cars delivered, in a house of 360 members, “many who have lost patience on the matter vowed to frustrate the passage of the budget,” he said.

Another source at the meeting confirmed that the the House leadership, at the session which lasted about 30 minutes, appealed to members for a smooth passage of the budget today.

President Muhammadu Buhari submitted the budget on December 22, 2016, which has already overshot the expected period for passage into law.

It was also gathered that there is disquiet in the House over jerking up of the budget by N143 billion, with some members asking what ready to take on the leadership, today, on the increase, with a vow to demand “why there was need to increase the budget figure.”

Despite the House leadership appealing for member’s support , Daily Sun, however, gathered that at the close of work, yesterday, copies of the budget had not been delivered, although members are expected to debate the budget, today, before passing it into law.

Investigations also indicated that the Appropriation Committee brainstormed on how to make the “right” copies of the budget available to members before today’s consideration.

 

Source: Daily Sun

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