The President of the National Assembly and Senate President, Ahmed Lawan on Thursday, promised that the federal legislature would finish work on the 2022 Appropriation Bill presented to it by President Muhammadu Buhari before the end of this year.
Lawan gave the assurance when President Buhari presented the document to a joint session of the lawmakers.
Lawan who stated this in his opening speech at the budget laying ceremony, also recalled how the 9th National Assembly promised to return Nigeria to a January-to-December budget cycle with the 2020 budget and made it possible, adding that the feat was repeated with the 2021 budget.
The Senate President, While thanking the President Buhari for early presentation of budget, said the lawmakers would pass the appropriation bill before the end of 2021 to allow maintenance of the new budget cycle.
Lawan committed the lawmakers to maintain the budget circle approval.
Prior to President Buhari’s second term, which started in 2019, there had always been delay in budget passage, leading to setback in implementation of capital projects and other budget-related activities.
Budget had always been passed in Q1 or Q2 of the budget year, leaving the Federal Government with 10 or nine months to implement a twelve months plan, hence, a surge in uncompleted projects.
In the last two years, the 9th National Assembly has kept to the January-to-December budget circle, approving budget passage in Q4, and not year of implementation.
While the commitment to keep the new budget circle has led to some quarters labelling the current National Assembly as rubber-stamp lawmakers, Lawan told his colleagues on Thursday, that the trend will continue as the N16.39 trillion budget will be passed before 2021 ends.
The budget has a deficit of N6.258 trillion that will be funded by another round of borrowings of N5.012 trillion – domestic; N2.506 trillion and foreign;N2.506 trillion.
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