Fuel Subsidy: Senate Passes N162bn Supplementary Budget

Fuel Subsidy: Senate Passes N162bn Supplementary Budget
Amidst mixed feelings amongst some of its members, Senate Thursday passed into an Act the request by President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday for an additional N161, 617,364,911 as fuel subsidy payment in the 2012 budget framework.
The approval came from the upper chamber after the second reading of the bill for an Act to authorise the issue of appropriation of the request from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation to provide for the supplementary payment of fuel subsidy.
The Senate eventually passed it in view of its emergency nature, as observed by Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Abdul Ningi.
In their contributions, Ningi, and Senators Ganiyu Solomon, who is a member of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Ahmed Lawan and Gbenga Kaka, said they were constrained to support President Jonathan’s request for the additional money which they said would be used to offset the fuel subsidy payment.
They added, that they were in support of the bill because they did not want majority of Nigerians to suffer the usual untold hardship during the yuletide.
The lawmakers, however, queried the authenticity of the report of the forensic audit purportedly carried out by the Federal Government. They suggested that the report of the Senate’s investigation into the fuel subsidy regime be made available to the public and be implemented without delay.
Summing up the contributions of the various lawmakers, Senate President, David Mark, called on the executive arm to either stamp out corruption in the oil industry or stop fuel subsidy.
The Senate President also noted that Jonathan’s request for the supplementary budget was approved by the upper chamber in the overall interest of Nigerians.
President Jonathan’s re-quest for a supplementary appropriation to the tune of N161, 617,364,911 billion passed the second reading stage yesterday at the House of Representatives.
It was subsequently referred to the Joint Committees on Petroleum Resources (Upstream and Downstream); Finance and Appropriation for further legislative work.
The President had asked the National Assembly to approve   the extra budget  to enable the government have funds to settle arrears of  fuel subsidy claims  owed oil marketers and  maintain a steady flow of petroleum products, especially in  the run-up to the yuletide nseason

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