#National Assembly To Transmit N17tn Budget To Buhari Today –Lawan

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Lawan urges Senate to stabilise polity ahead of 2023 poll

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, says the National Assembly will on Thursday transmit the 2022 Appropriation Bill to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to sign into law.

Lawan gave the hint on Wednesday in his remarks at the close of plenary.

The House of Representatives had on Tuesday passed the budget proposal while the Senate passed the appropriation bill on Wednesday.

Just as the House did earlier on Tuesday, the Senate raised the total estimates of the Federal Government’s budget from the proposed N16.391tn to N17.126tn.

The oil benchmark was raised from the proposed $57 per barrel to $62.

The Senate President stated that timely assent to the bill would ensure the commencement of its implementation by January next year.

Lawan added that businesses operating in the country as well as the economy stood to be impacted positively by the timely passage of the budget by the National Assembly.

Lawan said, “For the 2022 Appropriation Bill, we are expecting that the bill will be cleaned up between today (Wednesday) and tomorrow (Thursday), and we hope that by tomorrow, the bill will be sent to Mr. President for his assent. We are very optimistic that Mr. President will assent to the bill like he did for 2020 and 2021, so that by January 2022, the implementation of the budget 2022 will commence by the grace of God.

“We have seen the benefits of passing and assenting to the budget in good time, especially when we had to fight COVID-19.

The Senate President further hinted that the chamber would consider the report of the Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution as soon as it is presented early next year.

“When we return, we have one major legislation that has not been attended to at all as a chamber, and that is the constitutional amendments. Our committee on the review of the 1999 Constitution has been doing its work. But as a chamber, we haven’t finished working on it. We are expectant that our (Senate) Committee on the Review of the Constitution will be presenting the report to this chamber as soon as we resume. The committee has done so much, and the report is almost ready.

“When we harmonise with our colleagues in the House (of Representatives), we should be able to vote on the issues that will particularly bring about peace, unity and good government in our country, before such bill will be sent to the State Houses of Assembly for concurrence.

“On the whole, we must thank Almighty God that almost all those major items we reflected in our legislative agenda as a chamber has been attended to.””

Lawan reminded his colleagues of the role of the Senate as an institution to stabilise the polity, particularly against the backdrop of issues likely to surface ahead of the 2023 general elections.

“Next year, by the grace of God, will be the last lap of our tenure. So, we have a lot to ensure that we finish all the things that we have pencilled down for ourselves and, of course, there are many other issues that from time to time will be coming up in our polity. This Senate is supposed to play that role of stabilising the polity in Nigeria. I dare say that the members of the National Assembly, particularly the Senate, are a stabilising institution in the polity of Nigeria,” he said.

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