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NASS: 2017 budget laid with N143bn increase

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House of Reps lays 2017 budget with N143 billion increase

By Ikenna Uwadileke

The House of Representatives on Tuesday received the report of 2017 N7.30 trillion Budget proposal from its Committee on Appropriation for final consideration.

The report indicated that the committee increased the figures to N7.44 trillion, representing an addition of about N143 billion to the one presented by President Muhammadu Buhari on Dec. 14, 2016.

After the receipt of the bill, the House referred it to the Appropriation Committee on Jan. 26, 2017, but its processing suffered delay due to the inability of other committees to tidy their reports in time.

Presenting the report at plenary, Chairman of the committee, Rep. Mustapha Dawaki, said that the committee worked with other committees in the House to arrive at the new figure for the budget.

According to the report, N434.4 billion is for statutory transfer, N1.84 trillion for debt servicing and N177.46 billion is for sinking Fund for maturing bonds.

The committee appropriated N2.99 trillion for recurrent (Non-Debt) expenditure, while N2.17 trillion was provided for contribution to the development fund for Capital Expenditure.

In 2016 a similar increase in the budget sparked series of controversy as one of the Representatives alleged that the budget was “padded”.

Rep. Abdulmumin Jubril, now suspended had raised allegations that the leadership of the House of Representatives had increased the Appropriation Bill to meet some of their personal interests.

The last is yet to be heard of the padding allegation.

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