Promissory Note: Buhari accuses NASS of padding request with N890.5m

•Says FEC will implement N487.852bn as against N488.743bn passed by NASS 

President Muhammadu Buhari has vehemently disagreed with the National Assembly over the N890.537 million promissory note approved by the National Assembly.

The President in a letter dated December 10, 2018, alleged that the National Assembly added N890.537million to the N487.852billion promissory note he sent to them for approval.

In the request, the President explained that the promissory notes were meant for settlement of inherited local debts and contractual obligations on refund to state governments for projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government, adding that the federal lawmakers also reduced the number of beneficiary States from 25 to 21 despite the N890.537million added to the N487.852billion request.

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According to the President’s letter read on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday, the changes made by the National Assembly in the request are not implementable due to provisions of the Public Procurement Act 2007.

Consequently, he added that though  the  Federal Government would not release money to any of the states removed from beneficiary list by the National Assembly but the exact monies approved by FEC for the 21 other states would be paid to them  regardless of whether such approvals have been tampered with or not by NASS in its own approval .

The letter entitled: “Promissory Note Programme and a Bond Issuance to settle inherited local debts and contractual obligations on the refund to State Governments for Projects Executed on behalf of the Federal Government” reads:

“While the Federal Executive Council approved a total sum of N487,852,988,574.74 as reimbursement to State Governments, the National Assembly approved N488,743,526,204.77 implying that the amount approved by National Assembly was N890,537,630.03  higher than the amount approved by FEC;

“While Federal Executive Council approved reimbursement to 25 States, National Assembly approved reimbursement to only 21 States;

“National Assembly did not approve any reimbursement for four States (Bauchi, Delta, Kogi and Taraba) whereas Federal Executive Council had approved reimbursements for them and note that the amounts approved by the National Assembly for reimbursement to 21 states are higher than the amounts approved by Federal Executive Council for reimbursement to 25 states.

“The amount approved by the National Assembly for reimbursement to each of the 21 States is higher than the amount approved by FEC for each of these States except for Adamawa, Jigawa, Kano and Niger.

“The Senate may kindly note the provisions of the Public Procurement Act, 2007, which empowers the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) to approve vendors and contract sums. The amounts presented to the National Assembly for approval were duly certified for reimbursement by the BPP before they were approved by the Federal Executive Council. This was after the projects had been inspected through a programme under the chairmanship of the Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.

“Since the BPP is charged with the responsibility of approving contract sums, and there is a need for compliance with the Public Procurement Act, 2007, I wish to request that you forward to us details relating to the amounts approved by National Assembly for the 17 States in excess of what was certified by BPP for necessary certification and approval Furthermore, I wish to request for review of the reimbursement earlier submitted in favour of Bauchi, Delta, Kogi and Taraba state.

“Meanwhile the Federal Government shall proceed with implementation on the basis of where the amount approved by the National Assembly is the same as the amount approved by the Federal Executive Council: The jointly approved amount would be reimbursed. The States are Adamawa, Jigawa, Kano and Niger;

“Where the amount approved by the National Assembly is higher than the amount approved by Federal Executive Council: The amount approved by FEC would be reimbursed. The States are: Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Benue, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Gombe, lmo, Kwara, Lagos, Ondo, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Plateau and Zamfara.

“Finally where no amount was approved by National Assembly, no reimbursement will be made: The affected States are: Bauchi, Delta, Kogi and Taraba. state”

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