Published On: Wed, Dec 18th, 2013

Tambuwal Slams FG for not Funding Capital Projects

Speaker, House of Representative, Hon Aminu Tambuwal

LAGOS DECEMBER 18TH (URHOBOTODAY)-Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, on Tuesday slammed the Federal Government for starving capital projects of funds.
“You don’t save money when you are hungry,” Tambuwal, who displayed visible anger, said.
He specifically mentioned the Ministry of Finance and the Budget Office as the agencies of government denying capital projects of funding.

His anger also exposed the depth of the raging budget row between the House in particular and President Goodluck Jonathan.
Tambuwal said he could not comprehend how a government would be thinking of saving money when its people were hungry, in an apparent reference to the failure of the National Assembly and Jonathan to agree on the oil benchmark for the 2014 budget.
He spoke in Abuja when the management of Power Holding Company Transmission Company visited him at the National Assembly to solicit for funds to implement its projects.
Tambuwal said, “We are still dragging with the executive arm of government on the issue of oil benchmark, because we said we needed more money to fund infrastructure development.
“Somebody somewhere is saying that we should be saving money, saving money on an empty stomach? How do you save money when you are hungry?
“We are not your problems; the National Assembly of Nigeria cannot, and is not, a problem to any ministry, department or agency of government in terms of making attempt to support the MDAs for funding.
“Your main problem is Budget Office and the Ministry of Finance.
“We are hungry for health care, road infrastructure, rail lines, power and education and somebody somewhere is saying we should save money; for what and for whom?
“We actually need to look at those (pieces of) advice, and in whose interest are they saving, is it our own interest or someone else’s interest?”
Jonathan had proposed a crude oil benchmark of $74 for the 2014 budget in the 2014-2016 Medium Term Expenditure Framework but while considering the MTEF, the Senate approved $76.5 and the House went for $79.
The Presidency is said to be comfortable with the Senate position on the benchmark as it is closer to Jonathan’s original $74.
The House had argued in support of more funding for capital projects.
A conference committee appointed by the Senate and the House to harmonise the figures adjourned indefinitely last week after a series of meetings failed to resolve the issue.
Source: Punch

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