OrderPaperToday – The 2021 appropriation bill has scaled second reading in the Senate on Thursday.
This is coming 24 hours after the House of representatives approved the bill for second reading.
The senate approval happened after senators debated the fiscal document for three days. The debate commenced on Tuesday.
Senators particularly from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) took turns to criticize the bill which they described as “unrealistic.”
Most senators lamented over the deficit and huge borrowing to finance the budget.
The poor allocation to capital projects was also condemned by the federal lawmakers.
Most Senators recommended that the government start investing in modernized farming, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and other ventures that will bring more revenue for the country.
Recall that the proposed N13.08 trillion budget was presented on October 8 at the joint session of the federal parliament by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, in his remarks urged the executive arm to ensure 100 per cent releases to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
To generate more revenue and remittances, he said the Senate will meet with relevant MDAs monthly to find out targets performance and spur them with legislative interventions.
While he mentioned that some MDAs generate a lot of money, he however said they are not remitting the appropriate amount.
Lawan noted that revenue generation will reduce deficit and urged the Federal Government to diversify its choice of funding projects.
“We could go for PPP so we reduce the necessity to borrow but whatever it takes we need to provide infrastructure. Let us look into other sources of funding the infrastructure”, he said.
The president of the red chamber tasked his colleagues to find innovative approaches to carry out its oversight functions.
On cost of governance, Lawan affirmed the need for the government to look into the cost of governance.
Though he supported the call for the merging of some MDAs, Lawan said it should not stop the federal parliament from creating new ones.