OrderPaperToday – This week, the 2020 budget will regain prominence in both chambers of the National Assembly with the expected submission of the budget report and eventual passage at the end of the week.
Presentation of Budget report: The Senate Committee on Appropriation is expected to lay its report on the 2020 budget on Tuesday, 26th November following the conclusion of budget defence earlier in November.
President Muhammadu Buhari presented the N10.33 trillion budget before a joint session of the National Assembly on 8th October, 2019 while the defence of the document by Ministries, Departments, and Agencies was concluded on 5th November, 2019 amidst reported media blackout.
The submission of the report this Tuesday will pave the way for the passage of the budget.
Passage of 2020 budget: The 2020 budget is expected to scale through its final hurdle on Thursday, 28th November, 2019.
New record: If the lawmakers give the final nod as scheduled, this 9th Assembly would create a new record as one with the earliest passage of the Appropriation Bill in recent times.
Furthermore, the feat would signal a return to a ‘normal’ January-December budget cycle as promised by the leadership of the National Assembly.
It will be recalled that the Senate president, Ahmed Lawan, gave a hint during plenary on Tuesday, 12th November, 2019 that the budget may be passed this week.
He said: “All the committees have done their work so well within the defined parameters and therefore, we expect the Appropriations Committee to galvanise into action and produce the report to be laid here on the 26th November – next two weeks, before the Senate. And I believe this will be the same thing in our sister chamber, the House of Representatives, so that we are able to pass the 2020 Appropriation Bill on the 28th of November,”
The position of the Senate president was corroborated by the chairman, House of Representatives’ Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Hon. Benjamin Kalu last Thursday.