Nigerian House of Representatives in Session

Nigerian legislators warn MDAs against altering Budget 2020

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Following the Federal Executive Council’s (FEC) recent approval of the revised Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Federal Budget 2020 as revised estimates based on $25 per barrel of crude oil at a production rate of 1.94 million barrels per day in the economy, Nigeria’s House of Representatives has warned Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government against tampering with the Federal Budget 2020.

Hon. Muktar Aliyu Betara, Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, said in a statement in Abuja, FCT, that there were reports of some MDAs’ trying to adjust the budget to fit into the revised budget.

This they stated followed the reduction of the 2020 budget from N10.59 trillion to N10.52 trillion as a result of revenue shortfall occasioned by the novel Coronavirus pandemic.

Hon. Betara stated that the National Assembly is the organ constitutionally empowered to mend the budget document.

The lawmakers would not condone the act of tampering with the document by any agency of government, he said.

President Muhammadu Buhari had requested the National Assembly (NASS) to consider and approve the revised budget in line with current reality occasioned by the epidemic.

The legislator stressed that MDAs have powers to tinker with the budget, as only the National Assembly is statutorily empowered to review, adjust, consider and pass budget.

“There were reports that following the downward review of the budget from N10.59 trillion to N10.52 trillion due to the COVID-19 crisis and the dwindling oil prices, some MDAs were already adjusting the budget proposal to suit their needs.

“Such acts will not be condoned by the National Assembly as any MDA or official found to be engaged in such illegal practices will be made to face the music,” he said.

Betara added: “I want to warn that no other arm or department of government has any power over budget, except the legislature which is the National Assembly. It is only the National Assembly that can review the budget and we have begun the process.”

Both the 1999 Constitution and Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007 provide for no limitations on the National Assembly’s power to amend the Appropriations Bill, said the lawmaker.

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