The President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan said on Friday that the National Assembly was eager to receive the 2020 budget proposals to enable the legislature provide adequate time to work on the bill and pass it for enactment
Lawan was quoted by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Ola Awoniyi, as making the remarks during a chat with journalists on his arrival from a private visit to Morocco and Germany abroad that the Legislature was hopeful and optimistic as well as hungry and thirsty to receive the 2020 Appropriations Bill.
The Senate President confirmed that he was aware that the executive arm of government was working assiduously to ensure that the appropriation bill for the year 2020 is presented to the National Assembly by the end of this month.
He gave assurance that the Legislature would work so hard to ensure that the 2020 budget is passed before we go on Christmas break.
The Senate President said budget was one issue that the National Assembly will take head-on to ensure that the undesirable trend of late passage of yearly budgets is reversed.
The lawmaker said: “We believe this can be achieved, as doing so would make the economy better and predictable. We also think an early passage of the 2020 appropriations bill will have a desirable impact on Nigerians.”
He disclosed further that the executive had forwarded to the Senate the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) which will be considered when the Senate resumes from its recess next week.
Lawan expressed the hope the legislature would consider the MTEF within the first legislative week, promising that the Senate committee on Finance will be saddled with its first major responsibility that it works expeditiously on the executive arm’s Fiscal Strategy Paper/Medium Term Expenditure Framework’s request after which the Appropriation Bill will be laid before the National Assembly for consideration.
The Senate President assured that the 9th National Assembly would work assiduously with the executive arm of government to improve the security situation of the country as well as evaluate the crisis that affected Nigerians living in South Africa.
Lawan clarified further: “In the eighth Senate, we had an Ad-Hoc Committee that I was privileged to chair, to review the security architecture of the country. We are going to look into that report, and in addition, other contemporary issues that affect security in the country.
“We are also going to look into the crisis that affected Nigerians living in South Africa. You recall that this issue was reviewed before we went on recess. The Senate felt as an institution that our citizens’ diplomacy must be protected where ever they go in the world.
“The government must be there for them, and I’m happy that after the xenophobic crisis, the Federal Government was able to take a position.
“We need to be much more resolute, whatever the situation is; our citizens must be protected. If someone runs afoul of the laws of a country, there are processes and procedures on how such a person can be prosecuted.
“Therefore, we must try to protect our citizens. I also think we must be proactive to tell our citizens that if they choose to live in any country, they must ensure to stay within the limit of the laws of that country, just as we expect of foreigners in ours,” the lawmaker added.