Budget Office clears the air over implementation of 2013 Budget

Posted by News Express | 16 March 2013 | 3,370 times

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Nigeria’s Budget Office this evening cleared the air over a circular issued by it purportedly advising ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) not to implement the 2013 Appropriation, but to await the passage of the Budget Amendment Bill.

Francis O. Ojiah, Director, Administration Budget Office of the Federation, says no such directive or advice was ever given by his office. 

He said in a statement entitled “DG Budget did not direct MDAs to ignore 2013 Appropriation Act” issued in Abuja, the Nigerian capital: “Our attention has been drawn to several media reports suggesting that the Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation issued a directive to MDAs NOT to implement the 2013 Appropriation, but to await the passage of the Budget Amendment Bill.

“We wish to state categorically that this is absolutely UNTRUE. At no time since the passage of the 2013 budget and subsequent assent by Mr. President did the Budget Office issue such a directive. 

“The true situation is as follows:

“Following the passage of the 2013 Budget, a series of consultations were held between the National Assembly (NASS) and the Executive, during which observations were made on aspects of the passed bill that required adjustment, including personnel cost, overhead votes and critical capital projects. It was agreed that an Amendment should be sent to NASS for consideration after assent by Mr. President.

“The Budget Office subsequently issued a brief Circular Ref No. BD/2000/Exp/S.132/T/16, dated 6th March 2013, to guide MDAs on steps to observe in proposing any amendment to their budgets, along with a template. They were to focus on the personnel cost, overhead and critical capital projects.

“We wish to reiterate the following:

“(i) There was NOTHING in the Circular remotely suggesting that the 2013 Appropriation Act should not be implemented, as alleged. That was never the subject of the Circular.

“(ii) Far from being disrespectful to the Appropriation Act, the Guideline took pains to stress the need for MDAs, in preparing their Amendment proposal, to respect the Act as passed.  

“It is hoped that this would clear the air for the general public and all stakeholders.”

•Photo: Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, under whose ministry the Budget Office operates.

Source: News Express

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