The Senate yesterday received the 2016 budget and the 2014 Auditor-General of the Federation’s audit reports.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation Senator Mohammed Danjuma Goje presented the 2016 budget report marked “2016 Appropriation Bill, 2016 (SB.212).”
The report was debated upon today and passed into law with an unprecedented reduction in the budget’s total.
President Muhammadu Buhari presented a N6.08 trillion proposal in December 2015.
The Senate passed N6,060,677,358,227 trillion budget after considering its conference report on the budget.
It was the first time since 1999 that the National Assembly would approve a figure lower than proposed by the executive, John Enoh, who heads the senate finance committee, said.
He said that reflected the “mood of the country and the world” and showed “discipline” of the part of the National Assembly.
Earlier, the Senate Leader, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume presented the report, entitled: “Accounts of the Federation of Nigeria.”
Ndume asked the Senate to “receive the Annual Report of the Auditor-General for the Federation on the accounts of the Federation of Nigeria for the year ended December 31, 2014 in accordance with section 85(2) and (5) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
The report, submitted to the National Assembly by the Auditor-General of the Federation, Mr. Samuel Ukura, indicted several ministries, departments and agencies (MDA), including the National Assembly management.
It claimed that more than N3.3 trillion was misappropriated by the MDAs and the National Assembly.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, had assured that the Senate will investigate every bit of the audit report.
Abdullahi told reporters in Abuja that consideration of the audit report is part of the statutory function of the parliament.
He said the exposures in the audit report are queries raised by the Auditor General which cannot be conclusively classified as fraudulent acts until proven by investigation.
The senator added that the queries raised in the report by the Auditor General are not necessarily indictment.
Also yesterday, the Senate received report of the conference committee on Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).
Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance Senator John Owan Enoh prayed the Senate to receive the report of the conference committee on the 2016, 2017 and 2018 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).
The consideration and adoption of the MTEF and FSP pave the way for the passage of the Appropriation Bill.
After the receipt of the reports, the Senate adjourned plenary in honour of a member of the House of Representatives, Musa Baba Onwana (Nasarawa/Toro Federal Constituency, Nasarawa State), who died last week.(Culled from The Nation)