President Muhammadu Buhari has presented proposed budgets of the Federal Capital Territory and the Niger Delta Development Commission to the House of Representatives for consideration and approval.
The Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, read the communications from the President to members at the plenary on Monday.
The NDDC’s 2021 and 2022, alongside the FCT’s 2022 budgets are getting to the federal parliament two months to the end of the year.
They were transmitted at a time when the House Committee on Public Accounts has commenced investigation of no fewer than 63 institutions of the Federal Government for implementing illegal budgets.
The Tide source reported on Monday that the committee wrote a letter to the Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze, to demand evidence of appropriation by the National Assembly, of the expenditures made by the departments, agencies, institutes, corporations and parastatals.
However, Buhari, while laying the 2023 Appropriation Bill before a joint session of the National Assembly on October 7, 2022, slammed committees of the parliament who were bypassing him and approving budgets for Government-Owned Enterprises without his approval.
The President is expected to transmit budgetary proposals of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies to the National Assembly, while the Clerk transmits passed budgets to the Presidency for implementation.
Buhari, in a letter dated October 28, 2022, and titled, ‘Submission of the 2021 and 2022 Budget Estimates of the Niger Delta Development Commission, wrote in part, “Pursuant to Section 18(1) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (Establishment, Etc) Act, I forward herewith the 2021 and 2022 budget estimates of the NDDC for the kind consideration and passage by the House of Representatives.
“While I hope that the request will receive the usual expeditious consideration of the House, please accept, Rt. Honourable Speaker, the assurances of my highest consideration.”
In another letter dated October 4, 2022, and titled, ‘Transmission of the Federal Capital Territory 2022 Statutory Budget Proposal,’ the President partly wrote, “Pursuant to Section 121 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), I forward the Federal Capital Territory’s 2022 statutory budget proposal for the kind consideration by the House of Representatives.
“In the preparation of the Federal Capital Territory’s 2022 budget proposal, the Federal Capital Territory Administration aligns with the Federal Government’s laudable fiscal development policies. Accordingly, the FCT 2022 budget proposal prioritises improvement in health care services, job creation, youth empowerment, social welfare services, education and increased productivity in agriculture in our determination to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.”
Gbajabiamila also read out to members, Buhari’s cover letter on an executive bill seeking to amend the 1999 Constitution and the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act.
The letter was titled, ‘Transmission of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Bill 2022 and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Alteration Bill 2022 to the National Assembly for Consideration.’
It partly read, “Pursuant to Section 58(2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), I forward, herewith, the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Bill 2022 and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill, 2022, for the kind consideration of the House of Representatives.
“The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill, 2022, aims to ensure the effective performance of the functions of the Code of Conduct Bureau and assist the Code of Conduct Tribunal in the effective and speedy dispensation of cases.”
Protest Rocks Kano Over Appeal Court Judgment
Protests erupted in Kano city and its environs on Monday afternoon with the demonstrators denouncing the recent judgment of the Court of Appeal that sacked the state Governor, Abba Yusuf.
The Tide’s source reports that uneasy calm pervaded the state capital following a contradictory Certified True Copy of the Appeal Court that affirmed the prayers of both the appellant and the respondent in the contentious Kano governorship, though the judiciary had since cleared the air.
In what appeared like a coordinated action on Monday, huge crowd of protesters had stormed strategic positions in the city as it visited temporary hiccups on commercial activities.
Kano- Zaria Road, Maiduguri Road by Muhammadu Buhari’s interchange, and Kantin Kwari (Kano textile market) were taken over by hundreds of youths who called for justice for Abba Yusuf.
Some of the placard read: “Kano my city my state”, “Justice for Kano”, “ Justice for Abba”, “Abba’s mandate was stolen in 2019, we will not allow it happen in 2023″.
The protest came on the heels of discovery by the Police that “some faceless group are bent on unleashing violence in Kano”, stressing that the police were on top of the situation.
Cp Hussaini Gumel told newsmen in Kano on Monday that already 7 suspects had been arrested and would be arraigned soon.
Gumel revealed that “we have the understanding with the leadership of the contending political parties, and they have signed a peace pact. In view of that, therefore, any one found outside this arrangement will be treated as common criminal”.
However, normalcy had since returned to the ancient city following the peaceful protest that lasted several hours.
NASS To Receive Tinubu’s 2024 Appropriation Bill, Today
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will today, present the 2024 budget to the joint session of the National Assembly.
Secretary, Research and Information of the National Assembly, Dr Ali Barde Umoru, confirmed this on Monday to journalists while requesting the list of those to be allowed into the chamber during the budget presentation.
This will be the first budget estimate President Tinubu will present to the National Assembly in person.
He had earlier transmitted two supplementary budgets, 2022 and 2023, to the National Assembly, which the parliament speedily approved.
President Tinubu had, weeks ago, also forwarded to both chambers of the National Assembly, the 20224-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) where the sum of N26.1 trillion was proposed as the total expenditure for the 2024 fiscal year.
The Senate, following the recommendation of its joint committee, which scrutinised the document, approved the MTEF/FSP.
It approved the N26.1trn proposed as the 2024 budget and other parameters as proposed by President Tinubu.
It approved the new borrowings of N7.8 trillion, pegged the benchmark of oil price for 2024 at $73.96, and oil production volume per day at 1.78 million barrels.
Other parameters approved are a GDP growth rate of 3.76%, an inflation rate of 21.40%, an exchange rate of N700 to $1 dollar, and a projected budget deficit of N9.04 trillion.
Muslim Clerics Offer Prayers For Tinubu, Kwankwaso In Kano
Over 1,000 Islamic clerics have offered special prayers for President Bola Tinubu and the NNPP national leader, Rabiu Kwankwaso, for peace, progress and political stability in Nigeria.
Abdulmumin Kofa (NNPP-Kiru/Bebeji) hosted the ulamas at Kiru for the success of Governor Kabir Yusuf of Kano State at the Supreme Court, according to a statement by the lawmaker’s media aide, Sani Paki, on Monday.
During the prayer session, the clerics recited the Qur’an 1,101 times and prayed for peace, progress and political stability in the country.
Mr Kofa said his relationship with the president was no secret, noting that Mr Kwankwaso is his mentor. He said he would continue to support and promote a harmonious relationship between Messrs Tinubu and Kwankwaso.
Mr Kofa described NNPP as a promising party open to collaboration, alliance and merger with the APC and even with the People’s Democratic Party, Labour Party or any other party that showed interest, so long as it is for the good of Nigerians.
He also promised to deploy his modest political network to reach out to gladiators in Kano politics towards resolving all resolvable issues and to de-escalate the current tension in the state due to the Kano governorship seat.
Also, after the prayer session, the legislator hosted 5,000 primary school kids across his constituency, as he often does, and provided them with school kits.
According to the statement, Mr Kofa assured the pupils of the good plans of the federal and state governments, especially on free education and free school feeding programmes.
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