Senate To Pass 2020 Budget On Thursday

 

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan announced on Wednesday that the 2020 Appropriation bill before the National Assembly will be passed on Thursday, December 5, 2019.

He informed lawmakers at plenary shortly after the Public Procurement Act 2007 amendment bills were passed, which he believes, will complement the 2020 budget.

According to Lawan, the Public Procurement bill passed by the upper chamber is the icing on the cake on the eventual passage of the 2020 budget.

“What we have done today is really to put the icing on the cake on what we are about to do tomorrow by the grace of God when we pass the 2020 budget.

“We have already passed the Finance bills that will ensure that we get the required revenue to implement the budget.”

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Chairman of the Committee, Senator Shuaibu Isah Lau (PDP, Taraba North), in his presentation, said “certain amendments were made on the bills to encapsulate the ingredients of the varied views collated from experts and professionals, aimed at adding value to the Procurement Act.”

The Senate, in a clause-by-clause consideration of the bill, adopted the recommendations of the committee with slight amendments made to Section 1 under the Establishment of National Council on Public Procurement.

The Senate also adopted the committee’s recommendation on the issuance of Certificate of No Objection which shall be issued by a Committee of Directors of the Bureau to the chaired by the Director-General of the Public Procurement Bureau.

“The public procurement process in Nigeria has been a big bottleneck for some time, probably since it was passed.

“I believe that with this amendment, the procurement process will be faster and better, as will be the budget implementation process.

“Surely, this bill will have to go to the House of Representatives for them to concur.

Similarly, the upper chamber considered the recommendation of the committee to review upwards the mobilization fee from 15 percent to 20 percent for local contractors as insufficient.

Accordingly, Section 35 of the Act was amended to provide for not more than thirty percent mobilization for local contractors.

The amendment for an upward review of thirty-five percent mobilization for local contractors was initially proposed by Senator Jibrin Barau (APC, Kano North) and seconded by Ibikunle Amosun (APC, Ogun Central).

The Senate, however, settled for a thirty-percent review moved by Senator Abba Moro (PDP, Benue South) and seconded by Senator Rose Oko (PDP, Cross River North).

Governor Fintiri Proposes N183.3bn 2020 Budget

A file photo of Adamawa State Governor, Umaru Fintiri.

 

 

Adamawa State Governor, Umaru Fintiri, has presented a budget proposal of N183.3 billion for the 2020 fiscal year tagged ‘Budget of Rebirth’.

The governor presented the proposal to members of the State House of Assembly on Wednesday at the legislative chamber of the House in Yola, the state capital.

He was accompanied by the newly sworn-in members of the State Executive Council and other top government officials.

In his presentation, Governor Fintiri explained that education, health, human capital, agriculture, water supply, rural infrastructure, and community development would be given top priority.

He informed the lawmakers that N85.935 billion representing 47 per cent of the total budget was earmarked for recurrent expenditure while the balance of N97.424 billion representing 53 per cent was for capital development programmes.

The governor promised to complete all abandoned projects and initiative new ones with a view to impacting on the socio-economic life of the citizens and foster economic development.

He also gave assurance that his administration would achieve 90 per cent performance at the end of the 2020 fiscal year.

NASS Working To Pass 2020 Budget November 28, Says Lawan

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan,

 

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan said on Tuesday that the National Assembly is working towards the passage of the 2020 Appropriation bill on November 28, 2019.

To achieve this target date, Lawan directed the Senate Committee on Appropriations to submit its report on the 2020 budget proposals on November 26, 2019.

Lawan gave the directive on the floor of the Senate during plenary.

The Senate President stated that the committee’s compliance to lay its report on November 26 would facilitate the passage of the 2020 budget on November 28, before the National Assembly proceeds on Christmas break.

He said: “On the Budget 2020 we are working on, the ball is now in the court of Senate Committee on Appropriations, the last committee standing.

“All the committees have done their work so well within the defined parameters and we, therefore, expect the Appropriations Committee to produce the report and lay it here by the 26th of November, next two weeks.

“I believe that the same thing will be done in our sister chamber, the House of Representatives, so that we are able to pass the Appropriation Bill 2020 on November 28, by the Grace of God.”

Meanwhile, a total of twelve bills scaled first reading on the floor on Tuesday.

The bills are: National Religious Equity Commission (Est.) bill, 2019, sponsored by Senator Stella Oduah; Constituency Development Fund (Est.) bill, 2019, by Senator Ali Ndume; National Agency for Technology Incubation (Est.) bill, 2019, by Senator Ajayi Boroffice; National War College Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019, by Senator Aliyu Wamakko; Compulsory Free Universal Education Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019, by Senator Rose Oko, and Private Security and Forensic Investigation Bureau of Nigeria (Est.) bill, 2019, by Senator Barinanda Mpigi.

Others are: Police Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019, by Senator Betty Apiafi; Federal University of Agriculture and Technology Funtua (Est.) bill, 2019, by Senator Bello Mandiya; Federal College of Education (Technical) Kaima, Kwara State (Est.) bill, 2019, by Senator Sadiq Umar; Federal University of Gashua (Est.) bill, 2019, by Senator Yahaya Abdullahi; Federal Medical Centre Dekina, by Senator Jibrin Isah, and National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speeches (Est.) bill, 2019, by Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi.

Fayemi Proposes N124.7bn 2020 Budget To Ekiti Assembly

A file photo of Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi.

 

 

Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has presented the 2020 Appropriation Bill of N124.7 billion to the State House of Assembly.

Dr Fayemi who is also Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum presented the bill to the lawmakers during a session on Friday at the legislative chamber of the Assembly complex in Ado, the state capital.

The bill, christened ‘Budget of Deliverables,’ has N53.5 billion representing 43 per cent as capital expenditure while the recurrent expenditure is N71.1 billion, representing 57 per cent of the total budget estimates.

READ ALSO: Appeal Court Affirms Sanwo-Olu’s Election, Fines Appellants N2.4m

Thirty-six per cent of the budget proposal which is the highest allocation is earmarked for governance while infrastructure and industrial development take the second-highest share of 32 per cent.

Similarly, the ‘knowledge economy’ which encompasses education gulps 20 per cent, becoming the third-highest allocation in the state’s 2020 fiscal year.

Governor Fayemi informed the lawmaker that he was delighted that development partners were helping the state government with rural road constructions and promotion of agriculture among other cheering projects aimed at developing the state.

Lagos To Tackle Floods With N9bn, Proposes N1.168trn 2020 Budget

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, presents the 2020 Budget estimate at the Lagos House of Assembly in Alausa, Ikeja, on November 8, 2019.

 

 

The Lagos State government has revealed plans to aggressively tackle the floods that hit parts of the state recently.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu gave the indication while presenting a budget proposal of N1.168 trillion for the 2020 fiscal year to members of the State House of Assembly on Friday.

He explained that his administration has tripled the funds earmarked to address the recurrent challenges of flooding in the state.

“In response to the perennial challenges of flooding in the metropolis, we have to triple the capital budget provision to tackle these observed problems from N3 billion in 2019 to N9 billion in 2020.

“We are embarking on massive desilting of major drain systems across the state next year,” the governor was quoted as saying in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile.

He also unveiled the plan to accelerate the growth of the state’s economy by proposing aggressive investments in critical areas of priorities – physical infrastructure, environment, human capital, and security.

READ ALSO: Presidency Confirms Sack Of Osinbajo’s Aides, Gives Reasons

According to Governor Sanwo-Olu, the 2020 budget will be funded from a projected Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of N1.071 trillion while a budget deficit of N97.53 billion will be financed through internal and external loans.

Besides, he disclosed that the fiscal proposal also included a provision for the new minimum wage.

A breakdown of the budget tagged “Awakening to a Greater Lagos”, revealed that 62 per cent, representing N723.75 billion of total spending was earmarked for capital expenditure while recurrent expenditure will take N444.81 billion, representing 38 per cent.

Further analysis shows that about N167.81 billion of the recurrent expenditure will go for personnel costs and other staff-related expenses, representing 22.02 per cent of the total revenue.

The governor noted that this was within the acceptable wage policy which benchmarked 25 per cent staff overheads in the budget.

He was hopeful that the proposed budget would help the state achieve a sustainable social investment and scale up private sector-led economic growth through investment in infrastructure and security.

Governor Sanwo-Olu added that the budget would improve civic engagement in governance and foster partnership with the Federal Government and the civil society.

He noted that Lagos had been facing combined threats from population explosion and climate change, stressing that his administration would earmark huge funds to the environment and public infrastructure.

“Lagos faces an existential threat, arising from the interplay of demographic and climate change. Lagos will continue to be a magnet for multitudes within and outside Nigeria, in search of jobs and economic prosperity.

“These levels of migration put a phenomenal strain on the physical and fiscal resources of the state,” the governor said.

He added, “This budget seeks to aggressively invest in and develop our education, health, and other physical infrastructure sectors.

“As of September 2019, our capital expenditure on works and infrastructure was just N31 billion, which is less compared with N78 billion proposed in the current year. It is our intention to spend N115 billion on physical infrastructure in 2020.”

In his remarks, the Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, praised the governor for accepting the responsibility to tackle the challenges in the state.

He believes Governor Sanwo-Olu’s activities since his assumption of office have re-assured residents of his zeal to fix the inherited problems.

Obasa promised that the Assembly would ensure the speedy passage of the budget and make it a “New Year” gift for the people.

Senate President Opens Public Hearing On 2020 Budget Proposals

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, speaks during a session in the Senate Chamber in Abuja.

 

 

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has declared open a two-day public hearing on the 2020 budget proposal presented to the National Assembly early in October.

The National Budget Hearing on the 2020 budget is jointly convened by the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Appropriation.

Declaring the public hearing open on Wednesday, Senate President Lawan explained that the public hearing was aimed at accommodating the suggestions and inputs of critical stakeholders with a view to adding value to legislation through the channels of inclusion and public engagement.

He added that the successful implementation of a nation’s annual budget depends on increased participation by stakeholders, and awareness and education of citizens.

READ ALSO: Buhari Congratulates Canadian PM Trudeau On Re-Election

The lawmaker noted that the importance of the budget proposal in national development cannot be overemphasised, stressing that was the reason why inputs have to be all-inclusive.

“We understand that the budget proposal is about fiscal targets, resource allocation, public expenditure policy, productivity, and efficiency. We also understand that the process is one of passage, mobilisation, and execution.

“For them to work well, however, we have to have increased participation, which also amounts to empowerment in the realm of information, awareness, and education,” Lawan said.

He added, “An improved understanding most times comes through the exchange of ideas. It comes in a process of agreement and disagreement. Better awareness or expansion of thoughts could also come through purposeful interactions.

“Other than this is the fact that public hearing is a legislative tool of participation. Through it, we engage with critical stakeholders and the public, either separately or collectively. The overall essence is not just engagement or consultation, but also for the greater good of the people.”

The Senate President stated that the collective decision of the ninth Assembly to revert to the January-December budget cycle as provided in the 1999 Constitution as amended stemmed from the need to achieve a predictable economic framework for Nigeria.

He said the present budget cycle in operation created problems of planning and implementation in the nation’s economic framework.

2020 Budget Passes Second Reading In Senate

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, speaks during plenary in the Senate Chamber in Abuja

The 2020 Appropriation Bill submitted to the National Assembly last week by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday scaled second reading on the floor of the Senate.

The upper chamber has subsequently adjourned plenary till 29th November 2019, to enable Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government defend their respective budget proposals before the Committees of the Senate.

In his concluding remark during the last day of debate on the 2020 budget estimates, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, identified revenue generation as a major challenge of the budget.

According to him, the successful implementation of the budget may be difficult to realise until proactive measures are taken to address the situation.

He said: “We are seriously challenged in the area of generating revenues, and it appears that until something drastic is done, this shortage of revenue will continue to militate against the implementation of the budget.

“We have to continuously engage the revenue-generating agencies and schedule quarterly evaluation to be handled by our relevant committee, particularly the Senate Committee on Finance.”

He added, “We need to look at how we can enhance the capital allocation. The shortage of funds will militate against that.

“We have a serious challenge when only thirty per cent is devoted to the capital budget, but that is an improvement from what we inherited from 2014 when the allocation was fifteen per cent. But that is not to say we cannot do better.

On recurrent expenditure, he said “We have so many agencies of government, over six hundred of them and we have to pay.

“Probably, we need to look at how we can streamline the agencies; that is not to say that we will lay off workers, but we must establish the functionality and usefulness of these agencies.

“We also need to look at the direction of Public-Private Partnership, especially in the laying of physical infrastructure. We can concession our roads, instead of taking money from China.

Lawan, while advocating for a knowledge-based economy, appealed to the Federal Government to create an environment that would create jobs for the youths.

Speaking on attracting investments, he said, “We cannot realistically attract even domestic investments in any sector without security; not to mention direct foreign investments into our country.

“The funds may not be enough, but when properly applied we can achieve positive results.

“Our soldiers and other personnel of security agencies who are exposed to dangers need to be properly remunerated.

“Their allowances must be given to them at the right time, because these are incentives that we owe them.”

The Senate President also warned some agencies such as the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to submit their respective budgets to National Assembly or risk zero-budget allocation for the year 2020.

“The NDDC’s 2019 and 2020 budgets have not been brought here. The warning to NDDC is if they don’t bring the Commission’s 2020 budget proposal in time, there won’t be money to spend anymore, because government funds cannot be spent without appropriation.

“Appropriation is the responsibility of the National Assembly, and we are not going to allow our responsibility slip through our fingers.

“The same thing goes for the Nigerian Communications Commission, Federal Capital Territory Administration and any other agency that has not sent its budget. The budget that we undertake at this time will be holistic.”

2020 Budget Is Very Brilliant In Nothingness – Kassim Afegbua

 

The spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Kassim Afegbua, has criticised the 2020 budget proposal presented by President Muhammadu Buhari last week.

Afegbua who was a guest on Channels TV’s Sunday Politics, said he expected the president to take his time to present a well-rounded budget that captures the current realities of the country.

He, therefore, described the proposed budget as “brilliant in nothingness”.

“The 2020 budget is very brilliant in nothingness, beautiful in rhetorics and empty in terms of realist appraisal of what the issues are, with respect to getting us out of the present predicament we’ve found ourselves,” he said.

“I was expecting that the president will tarry for a while to consult with his economic advisers so that they can make some very wonderful inputs into the budget but the haste at which he presented it, certain benchmarks that are not realistic, point to one direction that the APC-LED Federal Government does not understand the dynamics that obtain in the present government”.

Meanwhile, Mr Afegbua also took a swipe at the APC government over allegations of attempting to gag the press.


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Reacting to comments by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, about the government’s plan to license WebTV and radio stations, including foreign broadcasters beaming signals into the country, he said he believes the move is aimed at stifling the activities of the press.

“I’m still trying to wonder why a government that is not trying to gag the press would come up with very obnoxious fees that will be paid by media organisations if in their own opinion they are found to have contravened certain sections of the NBC Code or NBC Act,” he said.

“I think under a democracy, the president does not enjoy that fiat to decide or to decree things into existence in a manner that will suggest that it is taking over the responsibility of the National Assembly which is vested with that responsibility of making laws, for the good governance of the country, to the extent of increasing penalties for breaches from 500,000 to 5 million and in that sequence, is quite undemocratic.

“The law guiding the broadcast media is very clear.

“The NBC Code is an old law that was put in place under the military government and is long overdue for some amendments but we are worried about a situation where the APC-led Federal Government has an NBC that is headed by an APC card-carrying member, who ran for election in Kwara State for governorship and is being made to be the Director-General of the NBC to superintend or moderate the activities of the broadcast media”.

Finance Minister Breaks Down Proposed 2020 Budget, Puts Total Revenue At N8.15trn

 

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has broken down the proposed 2020 budget, putting the total revenue at 8.15trillion naira.

She said that the total expenditure for the proposed budget stands at 10.33 trillion naira.

The honorable minister made the disclosure on Monday during a presentation aimed at discussing the details of the 2020 budget proposal presented to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari.

 She said, “This is the first time in a long time that this presentation is done early in trying to get back to the Jan-Dec budget cycle. Another will be held after passage by NASS”

She announced that the Federal Government is planning several key reforms including the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative.

According to her, the proposal is accompanied by a Finance Bill which has five Strategic Objectives, they are:

I. Promoting Fiscal Equity by mitigating instances of regressive taxation.

2. Reforming domestic tax laws to align with global best practices;

3. Introducing tax incentives 4 investments in infrastructure&capital markets.

4. Supporting micro,small&medium-sized businesses in line with Ease of Doing business reforms.

5. Raising revenues for the government.

Mrs. Ahmed explained that the 2020 Appropriation Bill is designed to be a budget of Fiscal consolidation to strengthen our macroeconomic environment; Investing in critical infrastructure, human capital development & enabling institutions especially key job-creating sectors.

And also Incentivising private sector investment essential to complement governments’ development plans, policies & programs; iv. Enhancing our social investment programs to further deepen their impact on marginalized/most vulnerable Nigerians.

In attendance at the presentation was the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemisola Saraki, Minister of State for Health, Adeleke Mamora, among other government officials.

See Photos Below: 

Below Is the Break Down

2020 Budget: PDP Senators Demand Accountability Of Govt Revenues, Others

 

Some senators on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have called for strict monitoring of generated revenue in the country among other demands.

They made the demands during plenary on Thursday in their various contributions on the debate on the 2020 Budget estimates in the Senate chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

The lawmakers, however, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for adhering strictly to the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act by ensuring the timely submission of the 2020 Appropriation Bill to the National Assembly.

They believe the early submission of the appropriation bill will facilitate its quick passage by the legislative, as well as return Nigeria’s budget cycle to the January-December timeline as provided by Constitution.

In his remarks, Senator Ayo Akinyelure (PDP, Ondo Central) bemoaned the high level of unaccountability by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government charged with the responsibility of revenue generation.

According to him, revenues accruable to agencies such as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) if accounted for, are sufficient to fund the nation’s annual budget.

“Not much emphasis is made in the revenue of the government. The revenue of NNPC if accounted for can fund the national budget,” the lawmaker said.

He added, “The internal revenue of the immigration is not accounted for. They are made away with by contractors.

“When we talk about an increase in VAT, the Federal Inland Revenue must double its efforts when it comes to remittance of revenues.”

Senator Akinyelure was confident that if revenues accruable to government were properly allocated to several projects, the same would go a long way in bringing about the much-desired development expected by Nigerians.

Senator Matthew Urhoghide (PDP, Edo South), on his part, commended President Buhari for his determination to reverse the poor annual budgetary practice that characterised late submission of the appropriation bill to the National Assembly.

“What President Buhari did this year, is a complete deviation from what we have been seeing in terms of procedure in the presentation of our annual budget estimates to the National Assembly,” the lawmaker was quoted as saying in a statement from the Office of the Senate President.

He added, “For the first time, the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) were strictly adhered to. Last year, we had the budget presented to the National Assembly before the MTEF/FSP came.

“We know the Act states very clearly that MTEF/FSP must come first, and the National Assembly must pass it before the budget estimates come.

“This is the first time we are adhering strictly to this procedure. It is commendable on the path of President Buhari and the leadership of the National Assembly.”

Senator Urhoghide, however, asked the Federal Government to ensure that capital expenditure in the 2020 Budget benefits Nigerians.

According to him, the provisions of the FRA as regards the budgetary execution and meeting of targets must be adhered to.

The lawmaker believes it is the responsibility of the Minister of Finance to meet with the joint Committees of Finance in the Senate and House of Representatives, to ensure a quarterly briefing of releases and distribution of funds.

He noted that the absence of this was responsible for the mistakes in the execution of the budget.

Another member, Senator Bassey Akpan (PDP, Akwa-Ibom North-East), lauded the President for throwing his weight behind the amendment of the Deep Offshore Inland Revenue Act.

He was delighted that Nigeria stands to benefit “an additional N400 billion for this year” with an amendment to the Act.

But Senator Akpan stressed that the Committees on Appropriation and Finance of the National Assembly have a task to balance the submission of the President.

“What we do as a National Assembly must reflect the equitable distribution of available resources to the good of all Nigerians,” he said.

In his contribution, Senator Clifford Ordia (PDP, Edo Central), described the budget proposal as “apt at this point in time in the history of our national development”

The lawmaker was optimistic that when fully implemented, the budget would go a long way in removing the youths from the streets.

He said, “The infrastructural development of this country needs to be handled holistically with timelines. This is the only way we can be able to attract investors to this country.”

Senator Ordia commended President Buhari for providing N296 billion sinking fund for payment of local contractors but urged the Federal Government to ensure that those owed over a period of time were duly paid.

On the manufacturing sector, he said, “It is supposed to be one of the major sectors contributing to our GDP. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

“Presently, the manufacturing sector and, in fact, the private sector only contributes about nine per cent to our GDP. This will not create the right environment that would create jobs for our young school leavers.”

The Senate has adjourned debate on the 2020 budget estimates until Tuesday next week.

Lawmakers Begin ‘Speedy’ Debate On 2020 Budget

PHOTOS: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

Less than 24 hours after President Muhammadu presented the 2020 appropriation bill to the National Assembly, lawmakers in the Senate and the House of Representatives have opened debate on the budget proposal.

The lawmakers are currently making submissions on the bill with some warning of the consequences of the huge deficit and non-performance of revenue-generating agencies.

READ ALSO: Budget 2020: We Dare Buhari To Make Presidency’s Allocation Public – PDP

In the upper chamber, Senate Leader Yahaya Abdullahi is asking the upper chamber to enact or amend relevant laws to drive revenue generation while minority leader Enyinnaya Abaribe has strong words about the budget proposal describing it as unsustainable.

He explains that the budget has no focus and appeals to the senate president not to be in a hurry to pass it but to look at the facts on the ground.

But Senate Deputy Whip Abdullahi Aliyu disagrees maintaining that the budget indeed has a focus and that it is hinged on sustaining growth and job creation.

Apart from the budget debate, the Senate also confirmed the appointment of Adeleke Adewolu as an executive commissioner on the governing board of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

In the House of Representatives, plenary commenced with representative Chinda Kingsley raising a point of order quoting order 12 rule 8.

He stated that the details of the appropriation bill is not contained in the bill and asks the house to suspend debate until the Minister of Finance submits the details of the house.

Kingsley was however ruled out of order by the Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila who explained that the general principles of the bill are to be debated and not the details.

Budget Passage Will Prove Our Accountability To Nigerians, Says Gbajabiamila

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, says the early passage of the 2020 budget will prove that the 9th Assembly is accountable to Nigerians.

Gbajabiamila said this on Tuesday at a joint session of the National Assembly on the presentation of the budget estimates by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“The Appropriation Bill that Mr President has presented to us today is a statement of intent. The budget when enacted into law, will be proof of our priorities and a reflection of our values we hold.

“What are those values? Integrity, accountability in managing the affairs of the state and absolute commitment to the best interest of the Nigerian people,” he said.

“What are our priorities? Building an economy that provides sufficient opportunities for our people to achieve the dreams they hold dear, equipping our children with an education that prepares them for the challenges, protecting the rights of our citizens and securing them from internal and external aggression”.

Speaking further, Gbajabiamila vowed that the National Assembly will work to ensure “that this commitment is reflected in the 2020 Appropriation Act.”

Meanwhile, the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan explained that the lawmakers are working towards passing the budget before the end of 2019.

He explained that the aim is to ensure that Nigeria’s budget cycle is returned to the January-December calendar year.

“The public, as well as the private sector, need a reliable budget cycle that is predictable and reliable for planning and execution of their financial policies and programmes.

“It is, therefore, necessary that the present cycle is changed to a January to December cycle. In this regard, the National Assembly and the Executive must work together to ensure the realisation of this important objective,” he said.

“In this regard, our committees will be expected to conclude their work on budget defence within October this year, the subsequent necessary legislative work will be carried out in November and December, leading to the eventual passage before the end of this year”.