*** Appropriations Committee Must lay it Unfailingly Dec. 3, Senate President
By Henry Umoru
THE Senate Committee on Appropriations Tuesday failed to meet the date given that it must lay the report of 2020 Budget for consideration by the Senators.
It was expected yesterday following the tall order last week by the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan that the report must be presented today.
Consequently, the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Jibrin Barau, All Progressives Congress, APC, Kano North raising a point of Order pleaded that the report was not ready as the Committee members needed extra time to carry out a thorough work.
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Barau who came under Order 43 of the Senate Standing Orders as Amended, said that the Committee had worked assiduously to ensure that the report was ready, but unfortunately, it would need an additional week to cross the ts and the Is to enable the Committee to come up with an acceptable report.
Barau said, “We have been having sleepless nights, we have been able to put everything together with our team of experts. What remains now is to crosscheck and make sure there is no mistake. Crossing all the Ts and dotting all the Is.
“Thereafter, we will now go to print because we want to submit all the details. What remains now, it will take us up to Sunday so by Monday we should be able to have all the clear details and then we lay on Tuesday. I just said I should inform you.”
Responding, President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan now gave the Committee an additional week to ensure that the report was ready unfailingly, next week Tuesday, December 3rd.
Lawan said, ” I am sure you are working with the House Committee on Appropriations. The Senate will give you an additional week and that is unfailing, Tuesday should be on 3rd of December, 2019. By the grace of God, you should be able to lay it here and the Senate should pass it within that week.”
Recall that the Committee was last week given an ultimatum of two weeks to work on the 2020 Budget and lay it on 26th November for subsequent consideration and passage before the end of next month.
Against this backdrop, President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan had insisted that the resolve of the National Assembly to revert to the January to December budget cycle remained sacrosanct.
Lawan who commended the various committees for rounding off their budget defence sessions on schedule and defended before the Senator Barau Jibrin led Senate Committee on Appropriations, had said, “All the committees have done their works so well within the defined parameters.
“Therefore, we expect the appropriations committee to galvanise into action. They (members of the appropriations committee) should produce the report to be laid here on the 26th November, which is the next two weeks before the Senate.
“I believe this will be the same thing in our sister chamber, the House of Representatives so that we would be able to pass the 2020 appropriation bill on the 28th of November.”