President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, in a statement by his media office on Tuesday, has said that both chambers of the National Assembly may pass the 2020 budget by next Wednesday. The statement was made when a delegation from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria paid a courtesy visit to his office at the National Assembly, Abuja.
He said the Senate and House Committees on Appropriation sought a one-week extension to enable them to conclude work on the report of the 2020 Appropriations Bill to be laid next Tuesday.
He said, “We want to pass the budget 2020 before the end of the year. Actually, today would have been the day for laying the budget, but our committees on appropriations sought for an extension by one week only. By Tuesday next week, we expect the budget 2020 to be laid before the two chambers of the National Assembly. It is our desire to pass the budget the following day Wednesday.”
In a related development, the House of Representatives deferred consideration of the report on the 2020 Appropriation Bill till next Tuesday. The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, made this known at the plenary on Tuesday. The National Assembly had scheduled consideration of the report by the Committees on Appropriations on the national budget for November 28 (Thursday).
Gbajabiamila, however, said consideration and adoption of the report would be delayed to allow a thorough work on it. He said, “We have deferred this to next Tuesday because we’re putting finishing touches to the budget. It is a lot of work. Anything worth doing is worth doing well. So, the laying of the budget has been deferred from today to Tuesday, the 3rd of December.”
Meanwhile, the Speaker has said the House is ready to partner the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria on the appropriation and other relevant bills. Speaking when he hosted the national leadership of ICAN who visited him in his office on Tuesday, Gbajabiamila said the House recognized the professionalism in ICAN and would be willing to have more engagements with the institute.
Meanwhile, the House has begun investigation into the actual amount of remittances to Nigeria by citizens in the Diasporas. The House is specifically seeking to clarify the conflicting figures issued by the World Bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria and other institutions.
At the plenary on Tuesday, Tolulope Akande-Sadipe moved a motion titled ‘Need to Ascertain Nigerians in Diaspora Remittances and their Impact on the Nation’s Economy,’ which was unanimously adopted by the lawmakers.