Both Houses of the National Assembly on Friday proceeded on the Christmas, New Year and end of year holidays, but not without The Senate passing the 2020 Budget for the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Lawmakers are to resume January 28, 2020.
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has reiterated that the passage of the 2020 Budget by the National Assembly and its prompt assent by President Muhammadu Buhari will have significant impact on the country’s economy starting from January next year.
The Senate President said the inflow of disbursed funds as a result of Nigeria’s return to the January – December budget cycle will see to the injection of resources by government starting in January 2020.
“One thing stands out clear; this ninth Senate is prepared to change Nigeria for the better.
“For passing the 2020 budget before the end of December, for the President to sign the budget before the end of December, and for the budget to start taking effect from 1st January, definitely the Nigerian economy will see significant changes, because the inflow of the disbursement of funds by government will be an injection of some resources into the economy.
“This is something that was not available previously. We believe that the executive has a role to ensure that the 2020 budget is implemented fully as much as our resources can accommodate,” Lawan said.
Speaking on the FCT budget passed by the National Assembly, the Senate President said, “As the State Assembly of the FCT, we have discharged our responsibility. The next thing is for FCT to ensure that it implements the budget.
“I will on behalf of all of us, urge the Committee on FCT to be steadfast and ensure that what we have passed here is what is implemented.
“We will work together with the executive arm to ensure we get those revenues that are supposed to fund the budget that we have passed.
“I believe that in this regard, we will not allow the FCT Administration not to do what is acceptable. We must ensure that this FCT is reclaimed, because there are so many things that are not going right.”
“We need to ensure that the FCT is safe, that residents and visitors alike come in here and do their businesses safely in a very secured environment.
“This is supposed to be the most secured city in Nigeria, because this is the seat of government.
“If we are not able to provide that security that befits the status of the FCT, the story outside of Nigeria will not be good for the country.
“I believe that we have done our job, and what is left is for FCT to take up its responsibility to ensure that this budget is implemented,” Lawan added.
While calling on Committees of the National Assembly to beam its light on revenue generating agencies, Lawan charged the legislature on oversight to ensure that government spending are consistent with implementation of the 2020 budget.
“But we also have a responsibility to ensure that we continue to evaluate the revenues of generating agencies, and ensure revenues come in, and every available provision in the budget should be treated equally because this document is a law.
“On oversight, it is probably the most important thing that we have to do to ensure the budget 2020 is implemented for the benefit of Nigerians. So, we will take a special way with dealing with oversights.
“All our committees will carry out their oversight fully on the executive arm of government. We believe that this is not trying to make someone uncomfortable.
“This is best way to go to ensure that there is the implementation of those laudable and notable projects that will make life better for Nigerians,” he added.
Lawan stated that the National Assembly upon its return next year from the Christmas break will take on critical legislations such as the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) as well as Constitutional Amendment.
The passage of the FCT budget was sequel to the consideration of a harmonized report of the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Statutory Appropriation bill, 2020.
Chairman of Senate Committee on FCT, Abubakar Kyari, in his presentation, gave a breakdown of expenditure to include: N55,878,241,095 as Personnel costs; N62,343,723,435 as Overhead costs; bringing Recurrent expenditure to a total of N118,221,964,530.
According to Kyari, the sum budgeted for Capital Expenditure in the 2020 fiscal year for the Federal Capital Territory is N160, 133,401,417.