The 2015 supplementary budget of N465.64billion submitted Wednesday to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari, passed second reading in the House of Representatives after a heated debate among lawmakers.
Leading debate on the supplementary appropriation bill, the House Leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila said that in line with the constitution, it is in order that the Buhari administration forwards a supplementary budget to the House for consideration and passage.
“The calculations went wrong and there is a short fall in the non-oil sector, there is the need to approve funds for subsidies as a responsive and responsible legislature,” he said.
According to him, the approval of the supplementary budget will further enhance the administration’s fight against insurgency and terror.
He argued that the reasons why the supplementary budget is necessary is because the appropriation will fund the operations of the military in the North East, provide prison rations and feeding of unity schools, enable the government pay the balance of the severance, gratuity and allowances of out gone and incoming legislators, their aides and emergency provision for subsidy claims.
Contributing to the debate, Hon. Tahir Monguno said that the supplementary budget if passed will help fund military operations in curbing the growing spate of insurgency in parts of the country.
However, debate on the budget took another turn when Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha in her submission queried the implementation of the 2015 Appropriation Act by the present government..
She said that there was no need for a supplementary budget because the financial year is coming to an end, emphasizing that the 2015 budget as approved has not been exhausted.
The Minority leader, Hon. Leo Ogor towing the line of Onyejeocha was barely allowed to speak as he was accused by Gbajabiamila of misleading the House To ensure debate on the supplementary budget is not done along party lines, House Speaker, Yakubu Dogara said that the debate shouldn’t be done along party lines, but instead unite the House to pursue a common good for the ordinary man.
Following the conclusion of debate on the bill, the Speaker referred the budget to the House committee on appropriations.