Tony Akowe, Abuja
The Chamber of Deputies has warned government ministries, departments and agencies against violating the 2020 budget.
The Chairman of the House Appropriation Committee, Deputy Muktar Aliyu Betara, said in a statement yesterday in Abuja that there were reports of some MDAs trying to adjust the budget to fit the revised budget after reducing the 2020 budget from N10.59 trillion to N10 , 52 trillion as a result of the revenue deficit caused by the Covid pandemic 19.
He said the National Assembly is the constitutionally authorized body to tamper with the budget document, adding that lawmakers would not tolerate the act of tampering with the document by any government agency.
President Muhammadu Buhari had asked the National Assembly to consider and approve the revised budget, in accordance with the current reality brought about by Covid 19.
Batera said that no MDA has the power to tamper with the budget, as only the National Assembly has statutory powers to review, adjust, consider and approve the budget.
The statement says: “There have been reports that, following the downward revision of the budget from N10.59 trillion to N10.52 trillion due to the COVID-19 crisis and the decrease in oil prices, some MDAs were already adjusting the budget proposal according to your needs. needs.
“Such acts will not be tolerated by the National Assembly, as any MDA or employee found involved in illegal practices will be made to face the music.
“I want to warn you that no other branch or government department has power over the budget, except the legislature that is the National Assembly. Only the National Assembly can review the budget and we begin the process.
“I would like to refresh the memory of those MDAs or executive executives that sections 80-84 of the 1999 constitution (as amended) confer ownership powers on parliament, as well as their responsibilities over the national exchange. Therefore, no one should practice any illegal act regarding the budget ”.
He further said that the 1999 Constitution and the 2007 Fiscal Responsibility Law do not provide for limitations on the National Assembly's power to amend the Appropriations Bill.
According to him, “Section 80 (4) specifically established that & # 39; no money will be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund or any other public fund of the Federation, except as prescribed by the National Assembly &; therefore, we must not shirk our responsibilities and we will also not hesitate to exercise great power over those who go beyond their mandate to change the budget ”