The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), 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 commended investigation of no fewer than 63 institutions of the Federal Government for implementing illegal budgets.
The PUNCH 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.”