Federal government has approved amendments to the 2022 budget and reversed previous approvals granted the anti-corruption agencies to retain 10 per cent of recovered loots.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on 31 December signed the 2022 budget into law. He was, however, displeased with some changes as well as major additions and reductions made by the National Assembly in critical projects ‘without justification.’
Speaking to State House correspondents after the federal executive council meeting presided over by President Buhari, minister of finance, Zainab Ahmed said the amendments will be sent to the National Assembly.
According to her “the second memo we presented to council today has to do with a request for approval of the 2022 Appropriation Amendment.
“If you recall, when the President signed the 2022 Appropriation into law on the 31st of December, he had raised some concerns that he had in some of the provisions in the budget and had indicated that he will be submitting an amendment proposal to the National Assembly for them to effect improvements in what has been done to the budget.
“So, today council took that amendment proposal and I just want to report that part of the requests that council has approved today is for the National Assembly to repeal clauses 10 and 11.
“Clause 10 is referring to a provision that has been made that will enable the EFCC and NFIU to be able to take 10% of whatever collections that they recover.
“We’re asking for that to be repealed because this is in direct contrast to the Acts of these two agencies and also it is in contravention of the Fiscal Responsibility Act and the Finance Act 2021.
“Clause 11, on the other hand, is a provision that has been made that says that the Nigeria embassies and missions are now authorized by this Appropriation Act to expend funds allocated to them under Capital Components without the need to seek approval of the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“This again, in a view, and Council agreed, is inconsistent with financial regulations and also inconsistent with the provisions of the Public Procurement Act. So, we are asking for this to be repealed.”
The minister further said, “Council also approved that some of the changes that were made in the Appropriation Act, totaling N103 billion, should be restored and examples of these are N22 billion that was provided for sinking fund to mature bonds that will be ready for payment in 2022 in the Nigerian domestic market.
“And also N12 billion for counterpart funding that is required for the various rail projects and N189 million to be adjusted also in the budgets of the Ministry of Transport, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the Head of Service.
“These are projects that are provided in these ministries that are completely unrelated to their mandate, so implementation will be a problem.
“Also, N5 billion to be restored for non-regular allowances of the Nigerian Navy, N15 billion to be restored for the regular allowances of the police formations and police commands and several others that Council looked at in detail.
“So, there’s a detailed schedule of this N103 billion that Mr. President will be formally conveying to the National Assembly to restore the adjustments that were made,” she added.