At last, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, on Monday appeared before the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs to defend the N9.88bn budgeted by his office for 2017.
The last time he was billed to appear, he chose instead to send the Permanent Secretary (General Services) Office of the SGF, Mohammed Bukar, but the committee on Thursday rejected the representatives and insisted that the SGF must appear in person.
While appearing before the lawmakers on Monday, Lawal explained that his absence was caused by the death of the wife of Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung.
The meeting between the SGF and the committee, which lasted about 45 minutes, was attended by the Chairman, Senator Tijjani Kaura (APC, Zamfara North) and the Vice Chairman, Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi (APC, Kaduna North).
Speaking on the 2017 budget proposal of the Office of the SGF, Lawal said his office proposed a total of N9.882,782,935 for 2017.
Out of this, the SGF said the sum of N3,408,763,591 was proposed for payment of personnel costs; N3,781,628,226 for overheads, an increase by N2bn compared to 2016 appropriation.
According to the SGF, the amount proposed for overheads would be used for funding the activities and programmes of other offices headed by the permanent secretaries in the OSGF, as well as activities and programmes of political office holders such as the special advisers and senior special assistants to the president.
Lawal also said his office budgeted the sum of N2,692,391,118 for capital projects for the fiscal year.