Kogi House of Assembly has resolved to sanction any Ministry, Department, Agencies or individuals that tamper with the state government budgets duly approved by the House.
Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Alhaji Momo-Jimoh Lawal disclosed this at plenary on Wednesday in Lokoja following the adoption of the report of the house joint committee on Transport and Communication and Public Service Matters.
The report was on the plight of the 142 workers of the state transport company (Kogi Travelers) placed on compulsory leave without pay since June 30, 2011, nine of whom had reportedly died due to lack of funds for medical care.
The joint committee’s report presented by Mr Linus Enenche of Olamaboro constituency and chairman, Transport Committee said that following the House earlier recommendation that the workers be re-absorbed, their salaries and allowances were captured in the 2015 budget.
Enenche said the appropriation as contained on page 58 of the approved 2015 Budget passed by the House for implementation was expunged by the Ministry of Budget and Planning.
The Speaker, while ruling on the report described the action of the budget and planning ministry, by tampering with the budget as an “affront” on the integrity and authority of the House.
“What baffled me most is that somebody there could tamper with or expunge something from the budget after it was passed by the House.
“Whoever is responsible should be sanctioned because it is an affront on the House for anybody to have done that.
“The person must not go unpunished. This is the first time I am seeing this type of thing”, the speaker lamented.
Adopting the recommendations of the report with some amendments, Lawal said that at no point should a budget of the state, after its approval by the House of Assembly, be tampered with by the budget ministry or anybody for that matter.
He called for recall of the transport workers, saying that since they were not formally disengaged they should be reinstated.

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