JUST IN: ‘N’Assembly to pass 2023 budget after Christmas’
Strong indications have emerged that the National Assembly will pass the 2023 Appropriation Bill next week.
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, had at various times during the week indicated that the Federal Government budget would be passed on Thursday when the lawmakers were expected to embark on Christmas and New Year break.
However, our correspondent observed that the House Committee on Appropriations will not lay its report on the money bill on Thursday.
The laying of the report was not listed on the Order Paper for the day.
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had only on Wednesday transmitted the Finance Bill, while the supplementary budget was received by the parliament on Thursday.
With the development, there is uncertainty over the maintenance of the January-December budget cycle, which the current 9th National Assembly restored three years ago.
After the National Assembly passes and transmits the budget back to the Executive, the relevant ministries, especially the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, usually scrutinise the content before the president signs it into law, a process that sometimes takes weeks.