Home Economy Reps to quiz Budget Office D-G over 2013 Appropriation Act

Reps to quiz Budget Office D-G over 2013 Appropriation Act

by Business News Report

The House of Representatives on Thursday invited the Director- General of the Budget Office, Dr Bright Okogu, to appear before the Committees on Finance and Appropriation. Okogu is required to shed light on a letter instructing MDAs to ignore the 2013 Appropriation Act.

The resolution was sequel to a motion moved by Rep. Samson Osagie (ACN-Edo) which was unanimously adopted. Leading the debate, Osagie alleged that Okogu had directed all Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to ignore the contents of the 2013 Appropriation Act. It also allegedly directed them to implement an amended budget yet to be laid before the National Assembly. According to him, it is disturbing for a senior government official to engage in the blatant breach of an extant Act recently assented to by the president.

Osagie said that the action of Okogu was capable of destroying the growing rapport and spirit of cooperation between the legislature and the executive. He said: “Until the Appropriation Act is amended by the National Assembly, no MDA is allowed to implement the amended version.” The legislator added that the alleged breach was the continued abuse of the country’s judicial system. Rep. Adams Jagaba (PDP-Kaduna) suggested that the executive arm of government should be held responsible for Okogu’s action.

He said the standing committees of the House should carry out an oversight on the allegation. Rep. Abike Dabiri-Erewa (ACN-Lagos) described the purported letter by the Budget Office as fraudulent. Rep. Jerry Manwe (PDP-Taraba) alleged that some MDAs go to the Budget Office to lobby to insert funds into their budgets. He suggested that Okogu be invited by the Finance and Appropriation committees to explain the position of the circular. Rep. Patrick Asadu (PDP-Enugu), who deferred, said there was a need for members of the House to look closely at the said letter before taking a position. Rep. Leo Ogor (PDP-Delta), the Deputy Leader of the House, said that it was pertinent to take a critical look at the content of the circular before the House could take a clear position

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