Zero allocation to SEC: Senate bows to pressure, to make a U-turn
*Hands off Constituency Projects *Backs Jonathan on Boko Haram
ABUJA— STRONG indications emerged, Tuesday, that the Senate may revisit its decision on zero allocation for Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, in the 2013 fiscal year because of the face-off with the commission’s Director General, Ms Aruma Oteh.
The Senate, according to the Chairman, Senate Committee on Information, Media and Public Affairs, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, PDP, Abia South, will reconsider its stance in the spirit of ‘give and take’ against the backdrop that the decision to deny the commission funds in the 2013 budget was based on the report of the conference committee of both chambers.
Former Chairman of the House Committee on Capital Markets, Hon. Herman Hembe and Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Ms. Arunma Oteh
Abaribe also said that the senate was yet to take a decision on the proposed amendments to the 2013 budget earlier presented to the National Assembly by the president.
The Senate also yesterday bowed to pressure from the presidency to hands off the handling of constituency projects as the Upper House said there will be no problem with the transfer of such powers to the Ministry of special duties. It said the move by the ministry to take over the projects became imperative for better performance and to distance the National Assembly from involving itself in the projects.
Abaribe said: “We think that what is being done in the presidency is probably to make it (constituency projects) more efficient, taking a look at what happens with regards to projects that are tagged constituency projects. You are aware that constituency projects are done in each ministry and what the National Assembly does is simply to pinpoint those projects and where they ought to be sited. We have nothing to do with implementation, except through our oversight functions for the constituencies’ projects.
“So, if the Presidency feels that they have to bring it under one umbrella so that it will be better assessed so be it, that is the job of the executive. Our job is through our oversight functions to ensure that all constituency projects or otherwise are faithfully implemented with regards to what comes out in the budget.”
On SEC Budget and Oteh, the Senate spokesman said: “what happened was that there was a conference committee set up between the House and the Senate on the 2013 appropriation and the result of the conference committee is what is in the 2013 budget. Of course Mr. President indicated in the letter to the Senate and the House of Representatives that there are certain aspects of the 2013 budget which is already signed into law that he wants us to revisit and definitely, we are going to revisit those aspects. That is the process of give and take within government.”