Senate in rowdy session over Buhari’s request for funds

The Senate has received a request from President Muhammadu Buhari for the virement of funds from various budget lines to fund the Federal Government’s priority projects and programmes.

The Senate has received a request from President Muhammadu Buhari for the virement of funds from various budget lines to fund the Federal Government’s priority projects and programmes.

The Senate sent the request to its Committee on Appropriations on Thursday.

But some lawmakers opposed the virement request, noting that it was too early especially as the Executive has only released N340 billion for capital expenditure in the 2017 budget.

However, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu argued that virement was illegal as the Constitution only recognises appropriation and supplementary budgets as the financial instruments for requesting and spending money.

Senate President Bukola Saraki explained that there was no pending request from the Executive for foreign loans before the Senate.

He made the explanation after the Chairman of the Committee on Appropriation, Senator Danjuma Goje presented a report on the outcome of Tuesday’s interaction with the Ministers of Finance and Budget on the level of implementation of the 2017 budget.

The committee is recommending that steps be taken to ensure that the Executive does not embark on selective implementation under the guise of completing priority projects because it will offend the spirit of the Appropriation Act. (News Express)

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