The Deputy Chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Mr Chris Azubogu, has assured Nigerians that the 2018 Appropriation Bill will be passed “very soon”.
Azubogu gave the assurance during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, on Wednesday in Abuja.
He, however, asserted that he is speaking on behalf of his committee, as the actual time as to when the appropriation bill would be passed can only be confirmed from the joint leadership of the National Assembly.
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Asked if the bill would be passed before the end of March, the lawmaker said: “a couple of weeks from now.
“It doesn’t squarely lie with me because we have a bicameral House, and we have two leaderships – the processes involve them. With the job I do (as the Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation), of collating what the standing committees are bringing to me, it (the process) is ongoing.”
The lawmaker who represents Nnewi North/South/Ekwusigo constituency of Anambra State the delay in the passage of the budget does not hinder the executive from continuing with its projects.
According to him, the 2017 Budget is still in place while the legislature ensures it is being implemented adequately.
On how the National Assembly plans to roll over budget provisions in the previous year, Azubogu supported the need for a “transitional programme” but it requires a permission of the executive and the legislature.
He added that the 8th Assembly is always ready to work with the executive to ensure it delivers the dividends of democracy to the people.
The lawmaker, however, noted that ensuring the passage of the budget requires series of processes on the part of the executive and the legislature.
He said, “the National Assembly is doing a detailed work. The volume of what to do in passing appropriation bill is not very easy. Come to terms of National Assembly, you have a whole lot of committees doing different jobs, and these are people mandated by the law to do their work.”