02 February 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – Acting President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday met with the National Assembly leadership in continuation of consultations between the executive and legislative arms of government over the 2017 budget.
The meeting, held behind closed doors of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, had the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, and some cabinet ministers in attendance.
Addressing State House correspondents after the meeting, the Senate President said they discussed issues relating to the nation’s economy, including the 2017 budget proposal before the National Assembly.
Saraki, who described the meeting as fruitful, revealed that they were briefed on the proposed government’s economic recovery plans, the road show for the sale of bonds and the 2017 budget.
According to him, the National Assembly had so far not encountered any problems with the 2017 budget.
“We were meeting on the economy and the budget: the Vice-President, the Speaker, ministers of budget, finance and I. We are aware that the economic team would soon be going on road shows and this meeting was just to brief us and let us know the issues and carry us along. We have started the budget scrutiny, so there are no issues. These are just consultations,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Senate Committee on Basic Education yesterday took the management of the Nigeria Education Research and Development Council (NERDC) to task over high overhead cost of the agency in the 2017 budget proposal.
The NERDC Executive Secretary, Professor Ismail Junaid had in his defence of the 2017 budget of the research council before the committee disclosed that N244million was proposed for overhead cost aside major recurrent expenditure to cover salaries and emolument of staffers of the agency.
The committee, however, felt uncomfortable with the proposal more so, when it discovered that out of the figure, a whopping N30million was budgeted for security services, N15 million for fumigation, N19 million for powering of generator among others.
Senator Binta Garuba Marshi wondered why overhead cost of such an agency would be far more than half of its capital vote of N377million.