By Fakoyejo Olalekan (nairametrics.com)
The National Assembly has passed the 2019 Appropriation Bill. The N8.9 trillion budget was passed some minutes ago during the Senate’s plenary session headed by Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
Note that the national budget was raised from N8.906 trillion to N8.916 trillion.
While appreciating his colleagues for meeting the deadline for the passage of the budget, Saraki urged the Federal Government to ensure the budget is implemented on time in order to benefit Nigerians.
“I WANT TO THANK OUR COLLEAGUES, PARTICULARLY FOR THEIR UNDERSTANDING AND FOR US TO BE ABLE TO MEET TODAYS DEADLINE IN PASSING THE BILL AND THANK THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATION TOO.”- SENATE PRESIDENT,
“I HOPE THAT WITH THIS BUDGET PASSED, THE EXECUTIVE WILL ALSO ENSURE THE FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE BUDGET FOR THE BENEFIT OF NIGERIANS AS A WHOLE.”
Senate beat its 2017 and 2018 record: The 2019 budget was passed five months after President Muhammadu Buhari presented the appropriation bill to the National Assembly in December 2018. This is an improvement compared to the passage of the 2017 and 2018 budget which took six months each.
Possible altercation between the NASS and President Buhari: There’s a possibility that the passage of the bill by the National Assembly and the signing of the bill by President Buhari could lead to another disagreement over projects budget.
History is likely to repeat itself as experienced in 2018 after President Buhari accused NASS of making changes to the budget, this action, he said worries him, arguing that the Executive decides its policies and budgets and not the legislature.
Why President Buhari condemned NASS in 2018: The National Assembly made cuts amounting to N347 billion in the allocations to 4,700 projects submitted to them for consideration and introduced 6,403 projects of their own amounting to N578 billion Naira.
Though there is no report that the Senate has cut budget on certain projects, that, however, will likely be revealed after the signing of the budget into law by President Buhari.
When President Buhari will sign the bill: While there’s no official date as to when President Buhari will sign the budget into law, history shows he probably will sign the budget in June as he did in 2018 and Yomi Osinbajo did in June 2017.
However, in 2016, President Buhari signed the budget in May, a month before June, which seem to have become the preferred month in the last two years.