The National Assembly was unable to pass the 2023 Appropriations bill on Thursday, as had been anticipated.Information Guide Nigeria
Indicators of this were apparent when the budget report was omitted from the Order Paper for Thursday’s congressional proceedings.
Shortly after a 15-minute closed-door session, Ahmad Lawan, president of the Senate, announced that the National Assembly will not be able to deliberate on the 2023 budget on Thursday as previously anticipated due to discrepancies in data discovered by the Appropriations committees of both houses.
Committees on Appropriations from both chambers were unable to meet today’s deadline for submitting the report for review and approval, according to Lawan, because of the lengthy cleaning process the draft budget proposal experienced.
However, the Senate President accused the executive branch for delivering the budget proposal extremely late and with inaccuracies.
In addition, he stated that the process of correcting the faults in the Appropriations bill was completed yesterday, and that the two houses must now harmonize the text in order to deliver the report for approval by both chambers on Wednesday, February 28, 2022.
Lawan also guaranteed that the implementation of the planned budget will begin on January 1, 2023.
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Lawan said, “Today was scheduled to be the day for us to receive and consider the report of our Committee on Appropriations on the 2023 Appropriation Bill. However, due to some challenges, we are not able to receive the report of the Committee.
“And the main reason for this is because the Appropriation Bill came to the National Assembly with some hurdles and when our Committees on Appropriation in the Senate and House started to reconcile the figures of what we have done and what was presented, the hurdles became obvious and they were not easy to deal with and therefore, our Committees had to start a process of cleaning up the Bill first.
“That process also engaged the Executive arm because the problem came from there. It was concluded only yesterday and our committee secretariat are not able to finish processing the Budget for us to take today because these are Christmas period.”
Lawan then added that the considerations for the 2023 Appropriation Bill would resume after the Christmas holiday on Wednesday, 28th December 2023.
He added, “We can only receive the report and consider it on Wednesday, December 28th. So far, this Ninth National Assembly has done so much to pass the previous Appropriations since 2019 before the end of the year.”
Meanwhile, the National Assembly has delayed until next week the adoption of the 2023 Appropriations Bill.
Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila announced it Thursday at the conclusion of the plenary session.
“We were meant to close today but you know our work is a very tough one. We will come back on Wednesday. We will adjourn today and come back on Wednesday, just for that one item – pass the budget and the Finance Bill.”NYSC portal
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, and the Speaker of the House suggested throughout the week that the Federal Government budget would be passed on Thursday (today), when MPs were anticipated to leave for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
However, our correspondent had previously reported that the House Appropriations Committee would not release its findings on the appropriations bill on Thursday.
The report’s presentation was not included on the Order Paper for the day.
Several MPs attributed the delay to the recent introduction of the 2022 Finance Bill and Supplemental Appropriations Bill for review and passage by the National Assembly.
President Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret.) only delivered the Finance Bill on Wednesday, while the parliament received the extra budget on Thursday.
With this outcome, the continuation of the January-December budget cycle that the current 9th National Assembly reinstated three years ago seems doubtful.
After the National Assembly passes and retransmits the budget to the Executive, the relevant ministries, particularly the Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, often examine its content for many weeks before the president signs it into law.JAMB portal
In the meantime, the House has approved a budget for the Federal Inland Revenue Service in 2023 totaling N262,959,510,955.
The Committee on Finance, chaired by James Faleke, submitted the report on Thursday, which the House Supply Committee reviewed and approved.
The legislature approved the issuing of N262,959,510,955 from the Statutory Revenue Fund of the FIRS, of which N126,070,912,538 is for Personnel Cost, N96,061,565,065 is for Overhead Cost, and N40,827,033,352 is for Capital Expenditure for the service year ending in December 2023.
Also on Thursday, the House requested the Central Bank of Nigeria and Deposit Money Banks to avert the imminent deportation of a large number of Nigerian students studying abroad due to the currency crisis.
Tolulope Akande-Sadipe, a member of the House, introduced a motion of urgent public interest to draw attention to the incapacity of students to pay fees at various academic institutions around the world.
Akande-Sadipe lamented that international students had difficulty processing payments made by benefactors.
She stated that leading Nigerian banks have neglected to process payments sent to schools to cover tuition, housing, and other expenses. She also condemned the banks’ refusal to reimburse the impacted students so they might seek alternative payment methods.
The lawmaker warned that the students are on the “verge of being deported to Nigeria if urgent action is not taken to remedy the situation,” adding that the CBN and commercial banks refused to come to their rescue.JAMB Result
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