Senate begins 2021 budget defence, set passage for Dec. 3
NEWSMAN, Abuja – Senate President, Ahmad Lawan says that the upper chamber will next Tuesday suspend plenary after consideration of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to enable Committees commence defence of the 2021 budget estimates by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government.
Lawan made this known after the Senate passed for second reading the 2021 Appropriations Bill presently before the National Assembly.
– Breakdown of top allocations in 2021 budget –
|2021 BUDGET LINE ITEM||APPROPRIATION BUDGET|
The Senate President, however, informed MDAs that the upper chamber’s deadline for budget Defence would not exceed the first week of November.
The statement is coming on the heels of the timetable for the budget defence and preparation deadline released by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Jibrin Barau on Thursday. The deadline for the passage of the budget is now December 3, 2023.
Senator Barau says that a joint national public hearing on the 2021 budget between the Senate and House of Representatives is scheduled November 9-10th, 2020. Sub-committees are to submitharmonised reports to the Appropriation committee between November 11th and 18th, 2020.
Meanwhile, Lawan has urged all Ministers and Heads of Government Agencies to avail themselves of the window provided for defence of their respective budgets, particularly in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive.
“On Tuesday next week, we will be taking the debate on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). This will be the last function that we would do in plenary.
“We will suspend plenary on Tuesday for the budget defence processes to start immediately.”– Ahmad Lawan, president of the Senate
The Senate President also said that: “Last year, President Muhammadu Buhari, gave specific orders that no Minister or Chief Executive should travel out of the country or anywhere else, without defending the budget of his or her Ministry or Agency.
“I’m sure that directive has remained in the clouds, in fact, the President even repeated a more serious one in his address to us at the retreat; that all Ministers and Heads of Agencies of government must come to defend the budget in person.
“So, we are waiting for them from next week. Unlike last year, we would have a Programme which will take the remaining part of October and the first week of November.”
“This will be the only window, and nobody should assume that after this period, a Minister or any Head of Agency will come to the National Assembly to defend any budget.
“If any Ministry is not able to defend its budget by the first week of November, then that Ministry should forget about coming to the National Assembly for budget defense.
“The National Assembly will perform its constitutional function of working on the budget proposal in the best interest of our people,” the Senate President said.