Don’t Panic, Tambuwal Urges Nigerians On 2013 Budget Impasse

GEJ-House-JonathanThe Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, on Friday urged Nigerians not to panic over the controversy trailing the 2013 budget.

Mr. Tambuwal spoke with newsmen in Benin on arrival in the state to felicitate with the Oba of Benin on his birthday celebration.

He urged Nigerians to be calm and patient, promising that the House would ensure that the government delivered the best. He said that consultations were still on to ensure that all issues relating to full implementations of the budget were resolved.

The speaker said one of the beauties of democracy was the ability of the three tiers of government to operate independently and their ability to arrive at a compromise.

The 2013 budget has been enmeshed in different controversies with the president initially refusing to sign the one passed by the lawmakers; while the lawmakers rejected a supplementary appropriation bill sent by President Goodluck Jonathan. The president has since sent another supplementary budget to the lawmakers.

Also speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria in Benin, Representative Leo Ogor promised workers that their August and September salaries would be paid.

Mr. Ogor, who is the Deputy Majority Leader of the House, said the Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, had debunked the statement credited to her saying that she was misquoted.

Ms. Okonjo-Iweala has repeatedly warned that unless the budget controversy was resolved, the government would not be able to pay workers salaries from October.

“The minister definitely may not want to deny a statement that she has made; so, I tend to believe her that she did not make that statement.

“I am convinced beyond reasonable doubt that there is no way that we will run into such hiccups; so there is no cause for alarm.

“She told us categorically that she was misquoted, and was actually quoted out of contest; that we should not make it a subject matter,” he said, in seeming reference to a false claim that the finance minister said the economy would collapse by October if the budget was not passed.

Mr. Ogor said Nigeria’s revenue target was intact although the country was battling with oil theft.

He said the House, guided by its powers on appropriation, was ready to give every necessary support to ensure that Nigerians had the best in all areas.




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