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Thursday, 20 July 2017

Osinbajo writes Reps, wants N135.6 billion moved among budgets of various ministries

The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, has written to the House of Representatives requesting approval for “virement’’ of N135.6 billion to fund some critical projects in the 2017 budget.

The request was made in a letter dated July 18, 2017, which was read to members of the House by its Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, at plenary on Thursday in Abuja.

The acting president drew the attention of the House to discussions and agreements between the executive and legislature before the 2017 Appropriation Bill was signed into law.

Part of the agreement was that the executive should submit a “virement proposal’’ to move some funds from within the budget to other critical items in the budget.

Some of the ministries affected by the request are Power, Works and Housing; Transportation; and Agriculture and Rural Development.

They also include Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Education, Federal Capital Territory Administration and Ministry of Health.

Details of the request showed that N46 billion is to be vired within projects of Ministry of Power, Works and Housing and N66 billion within projects of Ministry of Transportation.

Sources of the virement are N33.25 billion from Ministry of Transportation, N3.18 billion from Ministry of Power, Works and Housing and N14.13 billion from Office of the Secretary to the Government of Federation.

Also, N5 billion is to be moved from Office of the National Security Adviser, N5.01 billion from Ministry of Science and Technology and N5.41 billion from Ministry of Trade and Investment.

The sum of N1 billion is to be collected within projects of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, N7.70 billion from Ministry of Interior and N80.50 million within Ministry of Trade and Investment.

Similarly, N3.15 billion is to be sourced from Ministry of Defence, N770 million from Ministry of Education, N1.7 billion from Federal Capital Territory Administration and N1.3 billion from Ministry of Trade and Investment.

Ministry of Health is expected to release N1 billion, N735.04 million from office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and N1.09 billion from Ministry of Labour and Employment.

Accordingly, the letter indicated that N729 million would be sourced from Ministry of Information and Culture, N734 million from Ministry of Communication and Technology and N2.39 billion from Ministry of Water Resources.

It also indicated that N1 billion would be derived from Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and N241 million from Ministry of Environment.

The communication from the acting president stated that the specific appropriated items to be vired to were contained in schedule 1, while appropriated items from which to vire the amount required were contained in schedule 2.

Mr. Osinbajo, therefore, called on the House to urgently consider the request in order to support collective efforts to improve the well-being of Nigerians.

Mr. Dogara referred the request to the Committee on Appropriation for necessary action.

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