Following a request by President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Assembly on Wednesday extended the implementation period for the N18.12 trillion 2022 budget to March 31, 2023.
The budget in line with provisions of clause 12 of the Appropriation Act and section 318 of the 1999 constitution which stipulate 12 calendar months for implementation of the budget in any fiscal year, supposed to have ended on December 31, 2022, having started on January 1, 2022.
But President Muhammadu Buhari in a letter read in plenary on Wednesday, sought for amendment on the Act for an extension of the implementation period.
President Buhari in the letter read by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said: “I write to request your consideration for an amendment into the 2022 Acts expression clause 12, as passed and assented to.
“The 2022 Appropriation Acts states, in line with the provisions of section 318 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, this Bill expires after 12 months starting from January, 1 to December 31, 2022, one assented to.
“The proposed 2022 appropriation supplementary budget submitted to National Assembly for consideration as well as recent 2022 capital releases to MDAs are likely to be utilized before December, 31st, 2022 due to the late release of the funds which will lapse if the capital implementation is not extended beyond December 2022.
“In the light of the above, the National Assembly is requested to amend the 2022 Acts expression clause to reflect March 31, 2023, for the capital components only.”
The Senate accordingly gave the request expeditious consideration and passage by making it pass the required legislative processes within 30 mins.
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President of the Senate in his remarks, said the extension given the implementation period of the 2022 budget to March 31, 2023, will provide the required time for implementation of the N819.5 billion 2022 supplementary budget raised by the President.
But Senator Muhammad Ali Ndume ( APC Borno South ), during a brief debate on the request, called for caution in view of the shortness of available time.
“Mr President, my worry on this extension and supplementary budget is the reality of what we are doing.
“N819.5 billion 2022 supplementary budget targeted for implementation during the extended period, should have been merged with the 2023′ budget which will also be passed today.
“Is not possible for the N819.5 billion supplementary budget implemented within 90 days from now. Let not deceive ourselves but if the Senate wants to go ahead, so be it,” he said.
The Senate, however, went ahead with the passage of extension of the implementation period for the 2022 budget.
Meanwhile, the Senate on Wednesday passed the 2022 Supplementary Budget of N819.536 billion earlier forwarded to it by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The supplementary budget according to the President is for the 2022 fiscal year to fix critical infrastructure destroyed by floods across the various states in the country.
The supplementary budget is meant for the capital expenditure component of the 2022 budget with attendant increase of deficit to N8.17 trillion.
President Buhari added that the N819.5 billion supplementary budget will be financed by additional domestic borrowings.
The breakdown of the supplementary budget as passed by the Senate shows that a sum of N69 billion is earmarked for Agriculture and Rural Development; N704 billion for Works and Housing; N15.5 billion for Water Resources while N30 billion is earmarked for FCT to address critical infrastructures destroyed by floods.
Meanwhile, a cross-section of senators spoke their minds on the budget before passage with Senator Ali Ndume suggesting that the Supplementary budget should be incorporated into the 2023 budget to allow more room for the implementation of identified projects.