N’Assembly Fails To Meet Budget 2021 Deadline

(r) Senate President, Sen. Ahmad Lawan and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila

The National Assembly has failed to meet its target on the passage of the 2022 Appropriation Bill.

For the House of Representatives it planned to lay the report on the Federal Government’s budget proposal by the Committee on Appropriations for Tuesday, while it was expected to be considered and adopted on Wednesday.

After the passage of the budget, the House had proposed to proceed on Christmas and New Year break on Thursday (today). However, the committee failed to lay the report on Tuesday and Wednesday, the PUNCH reports.

According to the paper, the Senate, has blamed the delay on the budgets proposed by the Independent National Electoral Commission for the conduct of the 2023 general elections and the National Population Commission for the conduct of the 2022 census.

The newspaper reports the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Jibrin Barau, as saying the latest developments would not make passage of the 2022budget possible this week anymore.

“The 2023 general elections and projected national head counts slated for next year are very important, the reason why we want to make provisions for them in the 2022 budget.

“As a result of the importance of the two exercises, the passage of the 2022 budget will no longer be possible this week as earlier planned and clearly stated on our time table”, he was quoted as saying.

In line with Barau’s disclosure to journalists, the Senate adjourned plenary till Tuesday at the end of its session on Wednesday.

While the NPC presented a budget of N400bn to conduct the census next year, INEC presented its budget to the Committee on Appropriations behind closed doors for security reasons.

The Chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, was not at the session on Wednesday.

A Commissioner of INEC, Zuru Abdul, who represented Yakubu, informed the committee that the details being sought for by the lawmakers could not be given by him but only the INEC boss.

Abdul said, “Mr Chairman and members of this distinguished committee, we have listened to you and appreciate the concern on funding the 2023 general elections as regards the need to capture some of the projected expenses in the2022 budget.

“But such financial details can only be given by our chairman who is presently abroad and billed to return on Sunday or Monday morning. So, in the light of this, financial details requested for shall be made available on Monday next week.”

Consequently, Barau ruled for adjournment of the session to Monday next week.

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