After lingering controversies and series of postponements, the House of Representatives on Wednesday finally rejected the 2013 Appropriation Act Amendment Bill. The lower chamber of the National Assembly discarded the budget amendment bill after it received the report of an ad hoc committee set up to vet it and advise the chamber on how to handle it in view of the objections earlier raised on it.
In discarding the bill, the House argued that Section 81 (1), (2) and (4) of the 1999 Constitution did not envisage an amendment to an Appropriation Act, except through supplementary appropriation.
Chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business, Hon. Albert Sam-Tsokwa, who read the report at plenary yesterday, said the Appropriation Act 2013 Amendment Bill, which President Goodluck Jonathan forwarded to the National Assembly on March 14, had no place in the 1999 Constitution. He stated that apart from the title of the document, “Appropriation Act 2013 Amendment Bill”, the document had nothing again in it to show that it was a document seeking to amend or repeal and re-enact the 2013 Appropriation Act.
He noted that while the 2013 Appropriation Act appropriated a total sum of N4,987,220,425,601.00 for the 2013 financial year, the 2013 Appropriation Act (Amendment) Bill sought to appropriate a total sum of N4,987,382,196,690.00.
“What the Amendment Bill 2013 seeks to appropriate is more than what was appropriated for the 2013 fiscal year in the 2013 Appropriation Act.