The proposed 2021 appropriation bill which was presented by President Muhammadu Buhari has passed the second reading at the Senate, following three days of deliberations at the upper chamber. This raises hope that the processes and passage of the national budget for next year would be completed before the end of 2020.
The senators engaged the general principles of the budget of ‘Economic Recovery and Resilience’ presented to the National Assembly last week Thursday. While many senators criticised the projections of the budget, especially having to borrow to fund the budget, others praised the executive for its plan on economic resuscitation.
The proposed bill was later referred to the committee on appropriations, which is in-charge of distributing the budget across the standing committees of the chamber for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to come before them and defend their 2020 budget performance and 2021 proposal.
He pointed out that ministers were expected to appear in person for the budget defense, warning that ministers who fail to appear within the specified time frame would risk getting allocation for their ministry.
Senator Ahmed Lawan, the Senate President, also said the senate will put on hold, its plenary after October 20 to enable MDAs defend their budgets.
Senator Jibrin Barau, representing Kano North Senatorial District, and Chairman of the Committee, was given four weeks to report back to the Senate.
Senator Barau disclosed that his committee has planned to submit its report to Senate in plenary on November 3, 2020. He told reporters while outlining the timetable for the budget defense by MDAs,
He affirmed that, the Committee would adhere to the timetable and implored all MDAs to keep to the schedule.