By Henry Umoru
ABUJA—PRESIDENT of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, has reiterated his call on President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the 2020 budget was laid before the National Assembly by end of September.
He promised that if this was done, the National Assembly would lock up the whole of October this year for budget defence.
According to him, the budget will then be processed and passed before the lawmakers go on Christmas break.
“It is doable, it is achievable and attainable,” he said.
Lawan also pleaded with the executive on the urgent need to be on the same page with the National Assembly to reverse “the undesirable trend of the current budget cycle in Nigeria.”
He also assured that with the recent constitution of the relevant parliamentary committees, the 9th National Assembly was now more prepared and ready to work for Nigerians.
Lawan, who spoke to journalists at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, shortly on his return from pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in the early hours of yesterday, said: “The 9th National Assembly has been properly constituted, especially with our committees in place.
“We are ready, we are willing, we are capable to work as an institution to ensure that we provide those ingredients and inputs that the executive will need to implement laudable projects to develop the country.
“We need to work for a budget that will be passed by the National Assembly by December. That requires that we work assiduously with the executive arm of government to have the budget laid before the National Assembly by the end of September, and for the National Assembly to lock up the whole of October this year for budget defence, so that it can be processed and passed before we go on Christmas break. It is doable, it is achievable and attainable.
“I’m sure if we are able to achieve that, Nigeria’s economy will witness a boost. Businesses in Nigeria will have something predictable to work with. I believe that together with the executive arm of government, we should be able to do this, as this is fundamental to us in the National Assembly, and I’m sure the executive arm is also looking forward to that.”