Senate Steps Down Consideration Of Revised N10.509trn Budget
The Senate has stepped down deliberation on the revised N10.509 trillion 2020 budget forwarded to it by President Muhammadu Buhari for consideration.
This followed the inability of the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Jubrin Barau, to submit the team’s report on the budget on Tuesday.
Addressing his colleagues during plenary in the upper chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja, the lawmaker attributed this to the failure of the Budget Office to capture the entire N500 billion intervention fund for COVID-19 in the Appropriation Bill.
According to him, while N314 billion is captured as part of the intervention fund, the balance of N186 billion proposed for the health sector was not captured in the revised budget.
Senator Barau said the committee informed the Budget Office of the omission last week.
He revealed that the budget office, in its response, explained that there was no need for the entire N500 billion to be captured in the budget since it was fully highlighted in the MTEF/FSP documents already passed by the Senate.
The lawmaker added that following this response, the committee rejected that excuse in line with Sections 80 and 81 of the 1999 Constitution which empowered the National Assembly to appropriate every single kobo for the executive before spending.
In his remarks, Senate President Ahmad Lawan directed that those responsible for the budget documents should provide them without further delay.
He also asked the Senate Appropriation Committee to have the documents printed on Tuesday (June 9) unfailingly, lay it before the lawmakers on Wednesday for final consideration on Thursday.