2022 budget: Lawan gives Appropriations Committee Wednesday deadline to conclude budget defence

• Says December budget cycle sacrosanct

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has given the Committee on Appropriations till tomorrow (Wednesday) to conclude budget defence by subcommittees.

Lawan advised the Appropriation Committee led by Senator Barau Jibrin to keep to the ultimatum to ensure that the Senate meet up with the December 14 timetable for the passage of the 2022 budget by the National Assembly.

He insisted that nothing should frustrate the timely passage of the budget as planned.

The Senate President, who commended Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government for honouring the invitation extended to them to defend their respective budget estimates, assured Nigerians that nothing would interfere with the quick passage of the budget next month.

He said: “According to our timetable for the budget defence and subsequent processing by our committees or subcommittees of the Appropriations Committee, tomorrow will be the last day for the budget defence.

“Tomorrow will be the last day for the budget defence by subcommittees for appropriation before the committee on appropriations.

“It is gladdening that all our committees have finished their budget defence with ministries, departments and agencies as programmed by this Senate. But we have a little bit of a hitch, we are behind schedule with some of our committees.

“So, I’m sure that those committees that should have appeared before the committee on appropriation, but could not have had some challenges with getting some details from the MDAs.

“Tomorrow, no matter what, we have to conclude with the budget defence by the subcommittees before the committee on appropriations, and it is very important.”

He further justified the imperative of keeping to the timeline.

“In fact, it is very, very essential that we keep to our timetable, otherwise, we may run into a very serious problem with our time for the budget to be considered and passed by the 14th of December.

“I’m sure that our committees will be able to appear before the committee on appropriations by tomorrow.

“And I will also add that the committee on appropriations should make itself available to our subcommittees for appropriation.

“We have up to the weekend to conclude on the work of defence by the subcommittees before the appropriations committee so that the appropriations committee is able to also work to compile the document for us to work with when we come to the next segment for the budget processing – that is the laying, consideration and passage of the budget proposal by the grace of God.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank all our committees for doing very well so far, and I’m sure that this little hitch is not something that we cannot deal with.

“On the whole, the program is going on, and I’m particularly glad that we have been able to finish the defence by the MDAs, and also commend the MDAs for coming forward to defend rather than leaving us to do what we think they want.”

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