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  • News - North Central - FCT
  • Updated: November 02, 2022

2023 Budget: Reps, Foreign Affairs Ministry Disagree Over Constitutional Breach

2023 Budget: Reps, Foreign Affairs Ministry Disagree Over Co

The House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have disagreed over constitutional breach during the ministry's 2023 budget defence.

The committee rejected the budget on Wednesday alleging abuse of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) by the ministry.

This was stated by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Buba Yakub when the Minister of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyema alongside his team appeared before the committee. 

Buba said the committee will only consider the ministry's budget if all observation are rectified. 

“It beats every logic that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has deliberately refused to abide by the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and by other statutes of the land, including the Standing Orders of the House.

“The question this committee is asking the Minister of Foreign Affairs is: Is he bigger than Nigeria and its laws?

"Or how else will one explain the constant flagrant abuse of the laws of the land even when we have continued to write letters to the ministry reminding it of relevant provisions of our laws that demand abiding by.

“According to Section 10 of the Appropriations Act 2022 (as Amended), Missions and Embassies have been empowered to constitute their Tender Board for the purpose of the procurements they need to make.

“We have called the attention of the Minister to this Act, but he has continued to direct the Missions not to obey this law in spite of receiving about four letters on the issue, including the latest one of 6 September 2022.

“In addition to the above, Section 7 of the Appropriations Act 2022 (As Amended), captures, inter alia, that “The Minister of Finance shall ensure that funds appropriated under this Act are released to the appropriate agencies and or organs of government as and when due, provided that no funds for any quarter of the fiscal year shall be deferred without prior waiver from the National Assembly."

Meanwhile, the Minister denied the committee's allegations. 

“I did not in anyway tell them to disregard these requirements regarding the administrative charges. 

"We are also in the process of explaining to them what they have to do to send it for appropriation before spending, not just spending anyhow.

“Also, on unspent funds under capital seeking wavers, we have brought this to their attention and again, we are in the process of developing template for all the missions to follow," he stated. 

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