The National Assembly on Thursday officially okayed a budget plan of N4.987 trillion for 2013, slightly raising the overall figure by some N63bn.
The first proposition by Goodluck Jonathan was N4.924 tn.
The movement which was done individually by both arms of the assembly—the Senate and House of Representatives– was welcomed by the ruling Peoples Democratic Celebration and Jonathan’s Special Adviser on National Assembly matters, Senator Joy Emodi.
New versus on-going
Prior to giving its last yea to the budget, the Senate claimed it had determined entirely new jobs set as on-going in the 2013 financial paper.
The members advised that with the passage, the Executive now had no justification not to totally carry out the budget.
Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Mohammed Maccido, while presenting the Joint Committee record, stated, “There need to be a verifiable template for budgeting, specifically on capital projects. On-going jobs ought to be effectively specified if the uncomfortable sight of abandoned projects in Nigeria will be a thing of the past.
“A situation where projects not found in 2011 and 2012 budgets are found in 2013 as ongoing is very misleading.
“In the same vein, a situation where uncompleted projects are not included in the budgets of succeeding years is wasteful.”
He said that the Executive must be more thorough in compiling annual budgets, adding that it was noticed that some critical areas were still underfunded.
Before passing the budget, the Senate went into a closed-door session to iron out the thorny issues in the budget.
Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the session said the Executive must begin the implementation of the budget on January 1, 2013 and should make sure that it was fully implemented within the fiscal year.
He said, “This should challenge the Executive to properly implement the budget. There should be no more excuses. The 2013 budget should be fully implemented.
“The committees of the National Assembly should from January 1, 2013 begin their oversight of the implementation of the budget.”