Fayose asks Assembly to okay N9.9b ‘revised budget’ one month to handover

There is tension in Ekiti State House of Assembly following an order by Governor Ayo Fayose for the lawmakers to approve a supplementary Appropriation Bill of about N10 billion a month to his handover.

The bill, which an Assembly source described as “curious”, was backdated to August 30.

A copy of the bill with the governor’s signature was made available to The Nation in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, titled: “2018 Revised Budget.”

The supplementary budget came at a time the controversy over the purchase of a 2018 Lexus Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) as a “parting gift” for the governor has not died down.

In a letter conveying the bill, Fayose urges the lawmakers to approve N9,926,527,772.86 to be spent before he steps down from power on October 16.

What the N9.92 billion would be expended on was sketchy at the time of filing this report.

The outgoing governor, who has just 32 days in office, is expected to make way for the governor-elect, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who won the July 14 governorship election.

Fayemi, the All Progressives Congress (APC) flag bearer, defeated Fayose’s anointed candidate, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate.

Transition Committee set up by Fayemi said documents from the Debt Management Office (DMO) showed that Ekiti debt profile had risen from N18 billion when Fayemi left office in 2014 to N117 billion as at March.

The Nation learnt that the supplementary Appropriation Bill was received at the office of the Clerk of the House of Assembly, Mr. Tola Esan, on September 10 at 3.40 p.m.

The governor directed the lawmakers, who have been on recess since July 16, to work on the request and pass the bill “as early as possible”.

It was gathered that Speaker Kola Oluwole had reached out to some members of the Appropriation Committee as work began on the bill without recourse to the parliamentary procedure.

An Assembly official, who craved anonymity, said: “The lawmakers are to work on the bill and pass it quietly within the shortest possible time.

“The usual parliamentary procedure of First and Second readings have been side-stepped as the committee members are to sit to approve the bill ahead of the deadline given by the governor.”

According to a document attached to the 89-page budget prepared by the Ministry of Budget, the approved estimates for 2018 stood at N98,611,545,040.66, while the revised estimates sent to the Assembly stood at N108,538,072,813.52.

It was also gathered that the governor’s request is the first of its kind this year, as no supplementary Appropriation Bill had been forwarded to the Assembly since the passage of this year’s budget.

News Reporter
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