FG Voted N145bn for subsidy in 2015 budget – Reps say

GEJ-RepsThe House of Representatives has said that a provision of N100 billion was made for subsidy on premium motor spirit (PMS) also known as petrol in the 2015 budget that was passed on Thursday.

The House was reacting to a statement by its Chairman, Committee on Legislative Budget and Research, Opeyemi Bamidele that subsidy had been removed by the outgoing administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.

Mr. Bamidele had described the move as a “booby trap” for the incoming government led by Muhammadu Buhari.

However, in a statement yesterday, Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Afam Ogene (APC, Anambra) confirmed that the subsidy was not included the budget document that was passed on Thursday.

According to him, provision of N145 billion was made for fuel subsidy but was contained in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the revenue framework on which the budget was built, which was earlier passed by the House.

“The House noted that a total of N145 billion subsidy component was embedded in the 2015 Budget which it passed on Thursday, April 23, 2015”, he said, adding that these were made up of N100 billion for subsidy on petrol and N45 billion on kerosene.

Ogene continued: “When the Executive presented the 2015 budget proposals, it made provisions for N100 billion for petrol and another N45 billion subsidy on kerosene. Both items, alongside some others, are contained in the revenue framework upon which the 2015 Appropriation Bill was predicated.

“Having now passed the 2015 budget, the revenue framework wherein the subsidy quotient is located would now be sent along as part of the attachments accompanying the Appropriation Bill passed to the Executive for presidential assent.

“It needs restating that though the subsidy components were not included in the consideration of the budget proposals for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), which the House dealt with last Thursday, the revenue framework upon which the entire budget proposals were predicated upon was jointly worked upon by officials of the executive branch of the government and the House Committee on Finance – and provisions outlined for fuel subsidy as earlier pointed out”.