Reps to commence debate on 2020 Budget

• To suspend plenary for Committees works

The House of Representatives will tomorrow commence debate on the general principles of the 2020 Appropriations Bill presented to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari after the second reading of the bill at the plenary.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Rep Benjamin Kalu, who disclosed this, today while fielding questions with newsmen in Abuja said the House would suspend plenary session for the various Committees to work on the budget.

The lawmaker stated this became necessary in order to enable the House to conclude work on the 2020 budget on November 28.

According to him, “we are suspending plenary to enable us go into our various committees to interact with the Ministries, Departments and Agencies,MDAs

” To achieve that, we have set up a road map, which goes as follows: today 8th October, the presentation of the draft budget was done by the President. On Wednesday 9 to October 10, we will have debate on the general principles of the Appropriations Bill, as well as the second reading and referral.

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“This is to show you how committed the House of Representatives is in achieving this change in our budget calendar. On Thursday, 10th of October, we are going to meet with the Chairmen of all the committees to guide them on what is expected as regards the 2020 budget.

“From same Thursday, 10th of October to 29, we are going to have budget hearing and engagements with MDAs by the Appropriations subcommittees.

“From Monday the 21st to Tuesday 22 of October, we are going to be having public hearing on 2020 Appropriations Bill. From Wednesday the 30th of October to Tuesday 5th of November, we are going to have submission and defence of budget reports to the Appropriations Committees

“The termination date for the submission and defence. After the 5th of November, we will not accept any defense from any MDA.

“This is our expectation that with this roadmap that we have set that on the 28th of November, we will have the presentation of the report of the Appropriations Committee.

“What it means is that our expectation is that we want to be done with this exercise on 28th of November, 2019. Our idea is that from the beginning of December 2019, the budget is ready. ”

This came just as the Presidency commended the National Assembly over the zeal with which the legislature received the presentation of the Appropriation Bill from the Executive arm of the government without any rancor.

Speaking with newsmen shortly after the presentation by the of the budget, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, House of Representatives, Alhaji Umar el- Yaqub declared that this was a sign of good things Nigerians should be expected from both the two arms of government.

He expressed the hope that the budget appropriation Bill would be looked into and passed early as promised by the Executive.

He also assured prompt responses from the MDAs in order to ensure passage of the bill.

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