House of Reps Passes N4.695 Trillion 2014 Budget

The House of Representatives has passed the 2014 budget totalling N4.695trillion, same figure approved by the Senate on Wednesday.

The lawmakers passed the budget despite a point of order raised by a member who asked that the budget be suspended until its details were presented on the floor of the House.

A budget proposal for 4.642 trillion had been laid before the House on Wednesday by its committees on appropriation and finance after over two hours of closed door meeting, where members agreed to pass the budget in the interest of the nation.

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The proceedings of the House did not begin until mid-day Thursday, contrary to expectation that lawmakers would start legislative work early following a postponement of passage of the budget on Wednesday.

In less than one hour, however, the budget proposal for N4.695 trillion, a slight departure from Wednesday’s figure of N4.642 trillion came up for consideration.

A point of order was raised by a member of the House, Kingsley Chinda from Rivers State, who asked that the budget be suspended as details were yet to be presented before the House.

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“What we have is not a compendium of the details. We need to have the details so that we know how projects are distributed in this budget. I move that we should stand down this budget for now”, Chinda said.

However, his suggestion was met with mass disapproval from the floor, especially from the minority and was subsequently ruled out by Speaker Aminu Tambuwal.

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A clause by clause consideration of the budget then followed and the budget was passed.

The 2014 budget as passed by the House puts it in unison with the Senate which passed same figure on Wednesday, making the issue of harmonization between both houses unnecessary.

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