Jonathan’s Government is Suffering from Military Hangover, House of Rep declares
Despite on going efforts aimed at resolving the feud between President Goodluck Jonathan and the House of Representatives over the non implementation of the 2012 budget, the House has once again lashed out at the President, accusing him of running Nigeria as a military dictator in a fiedom.
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja yesterday, House spokesman, Zakari Mohammed expressed shock over the various allegations levelled against the lawmakers by the executive arm of government.
In his words ” they seem to be suffering from military hangover where budgets were announced after a meeting of the Supreme Military Council, SMC. The Federal Executive Council, FEC, is not the equivalent of the SMC. The National Assembly has replaced the SMC. If the Appropriation Act is to be sent back to the Executive the way it is presented, then it is better that the National Assembly is abolished.”
While faulting the finance minister over claims that the 2012 budget has been implemented by 56%, the House said the president seems to have lost touch with the reality of governance in the country.
According to Zakari “It is not true that the executive arm has implemented as at today 56% of the 2012 budget as widely reported. In truth, about 34% of the budget has been implemented. What the minister admitted to as can be confirmed from her own words is that, at best Government has implemented 56% of the N404 Billion released to MDAs. The Minister was clear in saying that, of this amount (N404 billion) only N324 billion has so far been cash backed. In order words, it is only N324 billion that is available to the MDAs for implementation of capital projects and programmes of government out of about N1.5 trillion appropriated for all capital expenditure.
“Of a total appropriation of N145 billion for the ministry of works in the budget, only N47 billion has so far been released to the ministry. In the first quarter N38 billion was released and in the second quarter only N9 billion was released, with a shortfall of about N30 billion for the 2nd quarter. The projects that need these appropriations are core road projects scattered all over the country.
“In a constitutional democracy, in the budgeting process, the National Assembly exercises the constitutional responsibility of taking care of the interests and aspirations of Nigerians from every constituency. We are not at war with the executive arm on this matter. We shall continue to insist on the implementation of the budget no matter what is being insinuated as the motivating factor for our intervention.
“We call on Mr. President, as an elected official who is ultimately accountable to Nigerians, to be careful of the type of advice he gets from his unelected appointees on the issue of the implementation of the budget, as its significant implementation is ultimately in the interest of his presidency.”