The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has proposed a budget of N144.b billion for 2014 while the nation’s apex maritime regulatory body, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) plans to spend N86 billion in the fiscal year.
The figures were contained in a budget proposal read on the floor of the upper legislative chamber yesterday by Deputy Senate Leader Abdul Ningi, who stood in for Senate Leader Victor Ndoma Egba (SAN).
The nation’s cash cow, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) plans to spend N3.555 trillion in the current year while the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) submitted a budget of N633.118 billion out of which N889.76 million was allocated for lunch and other allowances for Policemen attached to the apex bank and N269.79 million on consultancy services.
NNPC, on its part plans to spend N450 billion on capital expenditure, N184.76 billion on personnel and N398.359 billion on overheads out of its proposed 2014 budget.
However, there was a mild drama during the presentation as the Senators rejected the budget proposal which contained 52 federal agencies and parastatals because, according to them, they had already been captured in the N4.695 trillion national budget.
Instead, the upper chamber opted to work on only the budgets of agencies and parastatals that had yet to be captured in the 2014 budget.
The development led to expression of surprise and amazement by most senators, who are chairmen of the various committees, who had treated and passed budget of agencies under their supervision.
They argued that apart from the Central Bank of Nigeria, management of all the agencies listed for fresh appropriation had already appeared before standing committees to defend the budget estimates.
The senators insisted that they were waiting for President Goodluck Jonathan to sign the new budget and begin its implementation.
Vice chairman, Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Senator Isa Galaudu said, “the presentation of the budget proposal is belated. We should find out how this document came to this chamber.”
Also, Senator Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan, said, “we have already passed the 2014 budget. This can only come as a supplementary budget but what I want to know is this: Did we pass these budgets with the main budget? If we didn’t, then, it’s too late.”
Senate Spokesman, Enyinnaya Abaribe, who spoke under Order 26 (6) of the Senate Standing Orders (2011, as amended), said that the Senate has dealt with the matter of 2014 budget and that there is no need to go back to it again.
Senate President, Senator David Mark, explained that the problem with the proposal was that the Committee on Rules and Business should have removed some agencies that had been treated by the National Assembly from the list.
He therefore asked the Chairman, Rules and Business, Senator Ita Enang to clear the air on the budgets.
Enang howeever said, “This document is from the Budget Office of the Federation of the Federal Ministry of Finance. It came with the federal budget. I have not tampered with it.
“It was produced and given to the Appropriation Committee. This copy was gotten from the Appropriation Committee and circulated, in compliance with section 21 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act.”