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NASS Targets January-December Budget Cycle



The National Assembly (NASS) has initiated moves to return Nigeria to the January to December annual budget cycle. To meet the target of passing the 2020 Appropriation Bill in December this year, NASS has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to submit the budget in September.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan disclosed this yesterday in Abuja when members of the Senators’ Forum, a group of Nigerians, who have served in the Red Chamber. The delegation was led by the head of the forum, Senator Khairat Gwadabe.

Senator Lawan, who doubles as the chairman of the National Assembly, said that if the executive could submit the 2020 Appropriation Bill by September or October this year, Nigeria would revert to the January to December budget cycle.

Lawan said that three months would be enough for the 9th National Assembly to pass the budget and called on Buhari to submit the 2020 budget estimate by September or October 2019 and “wait for our magic.”

He said: “We don’t have any doubt. We know the challenges. We will work hard to tackle them. We will pass the budget in three months. All we require is for the executive arm of government to submit the budget on time, preferably September or October.

“If that happens and we get it, we will pass the budget before Christmas. We need to return to the January to December budget cycle,” Lawan said.

On the controversial pay package of the NASS members, Lawan defended it, insisting that the lawmakers need more funds to carry out their functions.

According to him, “we will make the National Assembly open. Nigerians will know what we are doing here. My salary is about N750,000. But I need to function as a lawmaker. We need to be well funded.

“The National Assembly needs to be well funded because we are very important in a democracy. Nigerians need to know these facts. They need to understand what we are doing here. Once we get on the right track, the sky will be our limit,” the Senate president said.



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