Reps probe implementation of 2015 budget
Urge stay of action on National ID card deadline
IN a bid to ensure implementation of the 2015 budget, the House of Representatives yesterday constituted an ad-hoc committee aimed at investigating the extent of the implementation of the capital component worth N556,995,465,449.00 The lawmakers also asked the National Identity Management Commission to stay action on the implementation of its September 1, 2015 deadline for completion of the issuance of National Identity Card pending the passage of the Personal Information and Data Protection Bill.
The parliament contended that since Nigeria does not have a Personal Data Protection Act to guarantee the privacy and safety of citizens’ data, the identity management scheme could be compromised The ad-hoc committee chaired by Ossai Nicholas Ossai (PDP-Delta) was also mandated to investigate the performance of the Federal Ministry of Finance in carrying out its mandates as contained in the 2015 Appropriation Act and Section 30 (1) and (2) of the Fiscal Responsibility Act. At the plenary session of the House, the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, directed the Ossai-led panel to report back to the House when it reconvenes at the end of September this year, after its six weeks recess.
The probe decision followed the adoption of a motion via matters of privilege initiated by Patrick Asadu (PDP- Enugu) who claimed that despite public outcry over the non-implementation of previous budgets, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration seems to have abandoned the implementation of the 2015 capital projects, almost mid-way into the third quarter of the financial year. He argued that as a result, constituency projects that were meant to ensure even and equitable development of all sections of the country amounting to less than 0.1 percent of the total 2015 annual budget is yet to be implemented.
He expressed concern that with the rising exchange rate of the naira against the dollar, the problem of non-implementation of the over 11,000 abandoned projects across Nigeria might persist. Prior to the adoption of the motion on the NIMC matter during plenary session yesterday, the sponsor, Chukwuemeka Ujam had stressed the need to ensure the setting up of a legal framework through the passage of the personal information and data protection bill before the commission implements its directive on conclusion of the identity card scheme.
Ruling, Dogara refered the motion to the House Committee on Population when constituted, for further legislative action. Specifically, the NIMC had fixed September 1, 2015 as the deadline for the completion of transaction involving the identification of individuals under the National Identification Number (NIN) scheme. Meanwhile, the House yesterday commenced its 2015 yearly recess and is expected to resume on Tuesday, September 29, 2015.