The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Rep. Muktar Betara, has warned Ministries Department and Agencies (MDAs) not to tamper with national budget.

He gave the warning after the consideration of the revised 2020 Budget proposal by the National Assembly, through a statement on Friday and declared that no MDA has the powers to tinker with the implementation of the budget as only the National

The lawmaker stated that the House is aware that based on the downward review of the budget from N10.59 trillion to N10.52 trillion due to the COVID-19 pandemic and dwindling oil prices, some MDAs were already adjusting their budget to suit their needs without recourse to the National Assembly.

“I want to warn that no other arm or department of government has any power over the budget, except the legislature, which is the National Assembly. It is only the National Assembly that can review the budget and we have begun the process.

“I would like to refresh the memory of those erring MDAs or officers of the executive that Sections 80- 84 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) confers appropriation powers on the parliament as well as its responsibilities over the national purse. So, nobody should engage in any unlawful act concerning the budget,” the lawmaker stated.

According to him, both the 1999 Constitution and Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007, provide for no limitations on the National Assembly’s power to amend the Appropriations Act, adding that “Section 80 (4) specifically provided that “no money shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund or any other public fund of the federation, except in the manner prescribed by the National Assembly.

“Therefore, we shall not shirk in our responsibilities and we will also not hesitate to wield the big stick on whoever goes beyond his brief to tamper with the budget,” he said.

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