14 July 2014, Abuja – The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) has described the Senate Report on the unremitted $49.8 billion crude oil sales revenue which recommended that President Goodluck Jonathan prepares and presents to the National Assembly, a supplementary budget to cover the sum of N90.693 billion for petrol subsidy for 2012 and the sum of N685.919 billion already expended as unconstitutional and less than transparent.
The group said such huge subsidy funds expended without appropriation by the National Assembly amounted to an impeachable offence.
In a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Osita Okechukwu, CNPP said it “had read from page to page and could not locate the section that mandated the Senate to make such unconstitutional and fraudulent recommendation.
“Section 81 of the 1999 Constitution as amended only stipulates that, “The president shall cause to be prepared and laid before each of the house of the National Assembly at any time in each financial year estimates of the revenues and expenditure of the federation for the next following financial year.” Not years after and to cover fraud.
“On supplementary budget section 81(4) stipulates, ‘If the amount appropriated by the Appropriation Act for any purpose is insufficient, or a need has arises for expenditure for a purpose for which no amount has been appropriated by the Act; a supplementary estimate showing the sums required shall be laid before each House of the National Assembly and the heads of any such expenditure shall be included in a Supplementary Appropriation Bill.”
The group said it believed that the sanctity of the Appropriation Act must at all times be guarded jealously by the National Assembly for the intendment of the appropriation process was for transparency, hierarchy of needs measurement and prioritisation of items.
It said the Senate cannot abandon its core mandate of oversight functions as stipulated in Section 88 in an effort to protect a president whose metaphor is corruption.
“We are therefore outraged that the Senate in utter disregard of the rule of law has covertly issued a badly compromised report that even forgot that the Coordinator for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, had acknowledged after the inter-agency and ministerial reconciliation that $12.8 billion was not remitted to the Federation Account and hence missing.
– This Day