The Nigerian Senate has explained why it postponed the passage of the 2023 appropriation bill to Wednesday, December 28, 2022.
The upper legislative chamber attributed the action to some obvious problems in the document, adding that the senate had some challenges in receiving the report on the 2023 budget from the appropriation committee.
This was made known by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, on the floor of the senate during plenary on Thursday, December 22, 2022.
Senate President blames the executive
Lawan said that the appropriations bill came to the National Assembly from the executive with some problems and when the committee came to reconcile the figures, the challenge became obvious and difficult to deal with.
He had noted that senate and House of Representatives committees on appropriations have since begun cleaning up the document.
He said, “We are not able to receive the report of the committee (appropriations).
“The main reason for this is that the appropriations bill came to the national assembly with some problems and when our committees on appropriations of the senate and the house started to reconcile the figures and what was presented, the problems became very obvious.
“Therefore, our committees had to start the process of cleaning up the bill first. That process, of course, also engaged the executive arm – because the bill came from there – and that was concluded yesterday.
“The secretariat of our committees is not able to process the budget for us either today or tomorrow, not Saturday nor Sunday.”
The senate president said the national assembly would likely consider and pass the budget after the Christmas holidays next week.
For the records
Recall that earlier in October 2022, President Muhammadu Buhari presented a sum of N20.51 trillion as the budget estimate for the 2023 fiscal year to a joint session of the national assembly.
The N20.51 trillion budget which is the highest so far in the nation’s history is the last to be presented by the president before his tenure elapses.
A breakdown of the budget shows that the recurrent expenditure is N8.27 trillion, capital expenditure is N5.35 trillion, and debt service is N6.31 trillion.
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