14 December 2012, Sweetcrude, Abuja – Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Thursday suspended debate on President Goodluck Jonathan’s request for approval for a supplementary budget of N161.6 billion for fuel subsidy for the rest of the year.
The House members were obviously not convinced on the need for the request with only two weeks left in the year.
But, the president’s request got easy approval at Senate, Thursday.
This year, N888.1 billion was approved for payment of fuel subsidy.
The President wrote to the National Assembly on Tuesday, requesting the cash for used to settle accumulated fuel subsidy arrears. It will also assist to “maintain a steady flow of petroleum products, especially to the run-up to the festive season,” the president wrote in the letter conveying the request to the two chambers of the National Assembly.
House members deliberating on the request at plenary, Thursday, maintained that the forensic audit of the subsidy regime be presented before the House for scrutiny.
The Chairmen of House Committees on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Dakuku Peterside, Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Ajibola Muraina, and Appropriation, John Enoh all agreed that the House may be stampeded into a hasty decision, if the consideration is done at plenary. They suggested that it should be treated at committee level.
The lawmakers said the late presentation of the request was an attempt by the President to blackmail them into passing the proposed supplementary budget.