Following President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s request for a speedy passage of the 2024 budget, the National Assembly has laid out plans to meet the December 31 target for the passage and signing of the 2024 Appropriation Bill.
Naija News reports that Tinubu had urged the lawmakers to give it speedy passage to ensure the continuation of the January to December financial cycle.
To continue the cycle, NASS has summoned ministers, heads of departments and agencies, security chiefs, and chief executive officers of institutions to which funding is appropriated for a parley tomorrow.
Speaking to The Nation, Chairman of the Senate Appropriation, Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, said a no-nonsense approach will be adopted to pass the N27.6 trillion Budget of Renewed Hope.
The Senate committee chairman warned that heads of ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) who fail to defend their votes would run on zero allocation next year.
He said: “We are sitting as a joint committee (Senate and House of Representatives), and what this means is that only one report will come from the Appropriation Committee.
“Unlike in the past when we had to sit together for harmonisation and concurrence, what we will have from the joint committees is the harmonised report. This will save considerable time.
“What we don’t expect from the Executive is the introduction of a new item that had not been accommodated in the budget that is already with us for consideration.
“The strategies we have adopted will make the deadline achievable.
“President Tinubu himself is aware of the exigency of time, and he has warned his ministers and heads of MDAs to cooperate with us.
“We believe that nobody from the executive arm of government will flout the directive on this.
“If any agency fails to defend its vote, nothing will be appropriated for such agency for next year.
“We need maximum cooperation from the heads of the MDAs to achieve the set target.
“Any minister who fails to honour our invitation will operate on zero allocation next year.
“So, we are putting a lot of sacrifice into the task to deliver the budget on schedule. This is the only way to sustain the January – December budget cycle.”
A one-day retreat will be held tomorrow with members of the Senate standing committees and their House of Representatives counterparts expected to attend.
“They are going to have something like a retreat on Tuesday, to be attended by all Senate and House of Representatives committee chairmen and all heads of MDAs.
“The planned retreat by the Senate Committee on Appropriations will enable an interaction on the quick passage of the budget before the National Assembly goes on recess for the Yuletide,” a source said.
On the invitation list are chief executives and heads of MDAs; Service chiefs (Army, Navy, and Air Force); Inspector-General of Police (IGP); Commandant-General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC); and Comptrollers-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).