Sanusi: CBN won’t submit budget to N/Assembly

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Sanusi Lamido

Sanusi Lamido

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi said the apex bank will not submit its budget to the National Assembly for appropriation, saying the lawmakers had “donated” its appropriation powers to the bank.

This was disclosed in a letter signed by CBN’s Director Legal Services S. M. Onekutu on behalf of the governor, dated February10, 2012 and addressed to the House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency.

Sanusi said that “by section 6 (3) of the CBN Act 2007, the National Assembly is deemed to have donated its authorisation powers under section 80 (3) of the constitution as it relates to the budget of the CBN to the board of the CBN.”

The letter further reads: “The budget of the CBN is not subject to the yearly appropriation process. This position is borne out by precedence and convention as never before in the annals of the history of the federal budgeting has the CBN budget been subject to the annual appropriation process. It is indubitable that the spending of the CBN is not from the consolidated revenue fund of the federation; the bank recognises that same may be deemed to be spending from “other public fund of the federation” within the meaning and intendment of section 80 (3) of the constitution and thus be subject to the spending authorisation regime prescribed there under that is authorisation via an Act of the National Assembly.”

The apex bank governor said that the authorisation spending by the CBN was prescribed by the CBN Act 2007 in section 6 (3) which provides that board of the CBN shall be responsible for the consideration and approval of the budget of the CBN.

The apex bank’s letter to the committee was in response to an earlier letter by the committee requesting it to forward its 2012 budget estimates to the House for appropriation.

The lawmakers had threatened not to pass the budget unless 31 revenue generating agencies including the CBN and the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) forward their budgets to the National Assembly for appropriation.

Sources in the National Assembly told Daily Trust that the apex bank’s 2012 budget was over N300 billion.

Recently, while testifying before the House of Representatives Joint committee on Finance, Petroleum Up and Down Stream, investigating the non-remittance of N450 billion into the federation account by the NNPC, Petroleum Minister Diazeni Allison-Madueke said the NNPC was being run like a limited liability company and as such could cannot be subjected to processes of appropriation by the National Assembly.

Other revenue generating agencies include the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, Nigeria Ports Authority, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Security Agency, Nigeria Gas Company among others.

When contacted, Chairman House Committee on Banking and Currency, Rep. Chukwu Jones Oyereri (PDP, Imo), said he will not discuss the letter with journalists because it was not meant for “public consumption” and “the way you got the letter is even questionable because it was not addressed to Daily Trust.”