The Nigerian Senate has approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for virement of funds appropriated in the 2016 budget for special intervention to be used to fund some recurrent and capital items.
The Executive Arm of Government had earmarked 500 billion Naira in the 2016 budget for social programmes.
Giving approval to the request that was rejected some weeks ago, the Senate increased the requested fund from 180 billion Naira to 213.821 billion Naira.
The Deputy Senate President:
Speaking on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, urged the Senate to approve the request, but pointed out that the process through which the president brought the proposal was unconstitutional.
He said the president ought to have brought a supplementary budget and not a request for virement.
In October, President Buhari had written to the Senate asking for a transfer of funds appropriated for special intervention in the 2016 budget to other exigent items.
In the earlier letter read on the floor of the Senate and House of Representatives, President Buhari said the request was necessary because of the shortfalls in provisions for personnel costs and inadequate provision for the Amnesty Programme.
President Buhari also stated that the fund virement was needed to cover for the inadequacies in the National Youth Service Corps budget where an additional 8.5 billion Naira is required to cover the backlog of 129,469 corps members who are currently due for call up but would otherwise be left out till next year due to funding constraints.
He said the Special Intervention Fund would also fund Service Wide Votes for Police Academy, Operation Lafiya Dole, Subsidy, Nigerian Air Force and the Presidential Initiative on North East among others.