Nigerian parliament has fixed November 28 to pass N10.7 trillion 2020 Fiscal Appropriation Bill, as all the committees concerned are through with their defence sessions. The budget would be passed earlier than the 2019 Budget which was passed four months into this year.
Though the National Assembly has a history of passing budget late, according to a statement by Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, the budget will be passed by November 28, 2019, a Punch report stated.
President Muhammadu Buhari presented the 2020 Budget to the Senate in October 2019. The 2020 budget was set at N10.33 trillion before the Senate increased it to N10.7 trillion after approving the Federal Government’s request to borrow N1.5 trillion.
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Why the early passage? Lawan stated that since all the budget committees rounded off their work early, the only task left is for the Appropriation Committee to produce the complete report by November 26, 2019.
He added that he hoped the members of the House of Representatives would follow in the steps of the Senate to ensure the passage of the 2020 appropriation bill by the end of November.
“All the committees have done their works so well within the defined parameters. Therefore, we expect the appropriation committee to galvanise into action.
“They should produce the report to be laid here on the 26th of 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.”
Senate to break 11-year jinx: The last time the Senate passed a budget before January was in 2008. But in recent years, the Senate has gradually reduced the timeframe. The passage of the 2017 and 2018 budget took six months each, while the 2019 budget was passed five months after President Buhari presented the appropriation bill in December 2018.
Now the Senate has announced that it plans to pass the 2020 Budget one month after it was presented by President Buhari.
A trend on the rise? The increase in the 2020 budget by the National Assembly appears to have now become a trend as the National Assembly also increased the 2019 budget before the final approval.