President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said on Friday that the National Assembly would not allow ministers or heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government to frustrate its determination to pass the 2020 Appropriation Bill proposals by December this year.
Lawan, who gave the assurance the unveiling of the Legislative Agenda of the House of Representatives, promised “that the National Assembly will do the right thing; which is to work on the budget and pass it.
“We will not allow anyone to frustrate our desire to pass the 2020 Budget before the end of this year. So, it is an opportunity for all those concerned with defending their budgets, to take the advantage,” the lawmaker added
Lawan, who is also the Chairman of the National Assembly, explained that one thing that the lawmakers in the ninth National Assembly had collectively agreed upon was to pass the budget 2020 before the end of the year.
He explained: “Already, the House has suspended plenary; the Senate will do same on Tuesday next week for the consideration of budget defence by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government.
“Only the window of October is available for budget defense. Any Minister or Head of Agency who decides to travel out of Nigeria, without defending his or her respective budget would have no opportunity to do so”, the lawmaker added.
Lawan commended the House of Representatives on the prompt passage of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) just like the Senate did.
He pointed out that “this shows the commitment, capacity and willingness of the House to work assiduously for Nigeria to make progress”, stressing that “we are going to work jointly to ensure that we maintain and sustain this momentum.”
The Senator said the desire of the ninth National Assembly is to ensure that Nigerians get better in structure and social services.
On the Legislative Agenda that was unveiled, Lawan said both Senate and the House of Representatives have many things in common adding that the two chambers have great deal of understanding of positive things for Nigeria.
This is even as he pointed out further that even though the legislative agenda of the two chambers were separately treated, “we have the same mission; and it is to take Nigeria to greater heights in the next four years.”
Lawan added that the next thing is to transform and translate the prevailing stability within the two chambers into productivity by way of legislative implementation of the legislative agenda.
The Senate last month deliberated on its Legislative Agenda and adopted it.
It would be recalled that the Senate President had been consistent in his desire to reverse the current unpredictable financial year to a more predictable January to December cycle of budgeting.
To achieve what some people consider a tall order, the leadership of the ninth National Assembly has repeatedly warned government officials to take advantage of the opportunity to defend their budget estimates on schedule.