NASS to pass 2020 budget ‘before end of this year’, says Lawan

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The President in a tete-a-tete with Senate President Ahmed Lawan and Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila during the presentation of 2020 Budget on Tuesday October 8, 2019.

*As Gbajabiamila says budget’s early passage will prove NASS accountability to Nigerians

President of the Nigerian Senate Ahmad Lawan, has stated that the 2020 budget presented by President Muhammadu Buhari will be passed before the end of 2019.

Senator Lawan, while addressing President Buhari at a joint session of the National Assembly, explained that the aim is to ensure that Nigeria’s budget cycle is returned to the January-December calendar year.

“The public, as well as the private sector, need a reliable budget cycle that is predictable and reliable for planning and execution of their financial policies and programmes.

“It is, therefore, necessary that the present cycle is changed to a January to December cycle. In this regard, the National Assembly and the Executive must work together to ensure the realisation of this important objective.

“In this regard, our committees will be expected to conclude their work on budget defence within October this year, the subsequent necessary legislative work will be carried out in November and December, leading to the eventual passage before the end of this year,” he added.

The Senate President urged all Ministries, Departments and Agencies to appear before the committees for the defence of their budget estimate within October 2019.

“The National Assembly, after the receipt of the budget estimate today will swing into swift action to start work, both chambers have constituted their committees we are therefore ready to start processing the budget estimate.

“In order for timely passage, all MDAs are expected to appear before the committees for the defence of their budget estimate within the month of October. We have earmarked the month of October to be the sole window for all budget defence activities in this year by all MDAs.

“Clearly, this effort is to enable the FG provides those laudable objectives of physical infrastructure and socio-economic services to our citizens,” he said.

President Buhari on Tuesday presented the 2020 appropriation bill termed as a budget of Fiscal Consolidation to strengthen Nigeria’s macroeconomic environment.

Gbajabiamila speaks

In his own comment, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, says the early passage of the 2020 budget will prove that the 9th Assembly is accountable to Nigerians.

Gbajabiamila said this on Tuesday at a joint session of the National Assembly on the presentation of the budget estimates by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“The Appropriation Bill that Mr President has presented to us today is a statement of intent. The budget when enacted into law, will be proof of our priorities and a reflection of our values we hold.

“What are those values? Integrity, accountability in managing the affairs of the state and absolute commitment to the best interest of the Nigerian people,” he said.

“What are our priorities? Building an economy that provides sufficient opportunities for our people to achieve the dreams they hold dear, equipping our children with an education that prepares them for the challenges, protecting the rights of our citizens and securing them from internal and external aggression”.

Speaking further, Gbajabiamila vowed that the National Assembly will work to ensure “that this commitment is reflected in the 2020 Appropriation Act.”

Meanwhile, the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan explained that the lawmakers are working towards passing the budget before the end of 2019.

He explained that the aim is to ensure that Nigeria’s budget cycle is returned to the January-December calendar year.

“The public, as well as the private sector, need a reliable budget cycle that is predictable and reliable for planning and execution of their financial policies and programmes.

“It is, therefore, necessary that the present cycle is changed to a January to December cycle. In this regard, the National Assembly and the Executive must work together to ensure the realisation of this important objective,” he said.

“In this regard, our committees will be expected to conclude their work on budget defence within October this year, the subsequent necessary legislative work will be carried out in November and December, leading to the eventual passage before the end of this year”.

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