By Sylvanus Okpe
The 9th National Assembly under the leadership of Senator Ahmed Lawan and Rt Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila has made public its resolve to pass the 2020 Appropriation Bill on November 28, 2019.
This was disclosed by the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Benjamin Kalu, who while addressing journalists on the budget presentation by President Muhammadu Buhari, stated that the lawmakers had the desire to reverse the budget calendar to January-December.
Kalu said, “We are committed to realising this switch from what it used to be to what it ought to be – January-December budget calendar. Luckily enough, the House has inaugurated all the standing committees. The House, in order, to achieve this objective of reversing the calendar will be suspending the plenary – not suspending the House – to enable us to go into our various committees to interact with the MDAs (ministries, departments and agencies. To achieve that, we have set up a road map.”
The House’ spokesman said while the appropriation bill was presented on Tuesday, the House would debate the general principles of the budget on Wednesday and Thursday, after which it would be passed for second reading and referred to the standing committees, also known as Sub-Committees on Appropriations.
Kalu further revealed that the House would adjourn plenary on Thursday till October 30, 2019, to enable the various committees hold budget defence sessions with Federal Government ministries, departments and agencies.