Senate counters Buhari on refunds to Delta, Taraba

Senate counters Buhari on refunds to Delta, Taraba

- The Senate says President Buhari’s claims on refunds approved by the National Assembly to Delta and Taraba states are false

- The president had stated that the National Assembly approved a higher figure for the refunds than what was approved by the FEC

- The Senate, however, clarified that the National Assembly approved the figures submitted to it by the Ministry of Finance as approved by the FEC

- The upper legislative chamber said the president must have been misinformed and misadvised by his aides while writing the letter to NASS

Claims by President Muhammadu Buhari that the refunds to Delta and Taraba for projects executed on behalf of the federal government which were approved by the National Assembly’s was different from what the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved, have been described as ‘false’ by the Senate.

The Senate president, Bukola Saraki, made the clarification in a statement released via his media adviser, Yusuph Olaniyonu, The Guardian reports.

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Legit.ng gathers that the Senate disclosed that as stated on page 402 of a document titled “Federal Ministry of Finance Submission of Federal Government of Nigeria Outstanding Liabilities to National Assembly, May, 2018,” it approved the exact figures for the states that was submitted to it by the executive through the finance ministry.

In his letter to the National Assembly dated March 5, 2019, President Buhari had claimed that “While the Federal Executive Council approved N78,601,631,430.16 as reimbursement to Delta and Taraba state governments, the National Assembly approved N90,236,461,031.36, which is higher than the amount approved by the Federal Executive Council.”

Saraki’s statement read in part: “The Senate would like to clarify that the breakdown which the executive through the Ministry of Finance submitted to the National Assembly showed that the outstanding liability due to Taraba State is N22, 254,062,330.08 while that of Delta is N67,982, 398,701. 28 while the total for the two states is N90,236,461, 031. 36.

“Therefore, the National Assembly approved the figures submitted to it by the Ministry of Finance as approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for projects executed on behalf of the federal government.

“At no time did the executive forward the figure of N78, 601, 631, 430, 16 to us and we do not know where the president got that figure from.

“We have decided to make this clarification to set the records straight and disabuse the minds of the public. We believe the president must have been misinformed and misadvised by his aides while writing the letter he sent on this issue to the National Assembly.”

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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that barely nine days after rejecting five bills, President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, March 28, declined assent to five more bills that were passed by the National Assembly and forwarded to him to sign into law.

In separate letters addressed to Senate President Bukola Saraki, Buhari listed the latest rejected bills as National Institute of Credit Administration Bill, 2018; Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency Bill, 2018; Ajaokuta Steel Company Completion Fund Bill, 2018; National Housing Fund Bill, 2018 and Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria Bill, 2018.

With the development, the number of passed bills in the eight Senate which the president refused to sign into law rose to 31.

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Source: Legit.ng

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