House of Representatives on Wednesday suspended debate on the general principles of a bill to amend the Appropriation Act, 2012 to provide for payment of arrears of fuel subsidy.

President Goodluck Jonathan

House of Representatives on Wednesday suspended debate on the general principles of a bill to amend the Appropriation Act, 2012 to provide for payment of arrears of fuel subsidy. President Goodluck Jonathan on Dec. 11, in a letter to the House, requested the house for a supplementary budget of N161.6 billion. The President said the supplementary budget was for the payment of arrears of fuel subsidy.

The letter reads: ?The Rt. Hon. Speaker will recall that as part of the 20I2 budget framework, a provision of N888.I billion was made for payment of fuel subsidy for the nation. I wish to intimate the Honourable House of Representatives of the fact that, following the forensic audit carried out, the provision for fuel subsidy in the 2012 budget was underestimated. As at now, the sum of N880,26 billion has been paid out, leaving a balance of N7.74 billion.

?To accommodate the outstanding arrears resulting from the forensic audit and the remaining period of 2012, an additional N161.6 billion, over and above what was programmed for the 2012 framework, is required. Given the need to maintain a steady flow of petroleum products, especially to the run-up to the festive season, it is my hope that the Honourable members will kindly accord this request their traditional expeditious consideration and approval. 

Accordingly, I hereby forward copies of the supplemental request for the additional subsidy payment for 2012,” Jonathan?s letter said.

Speaker Aminu Tambuwal, who announced the suspension, said that the suspension of the debate would allow the House to get details from the committees on appropriation, finance, and petroleum upstream and downstream.  He said that so many issues raised by members required clarification by the relevant committees to enable the House take a decision. 

The debate will continue on Thursday.

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