The National Assembly has expressed its readiness to receive the 2020 Appropriation Bill by the end of this month and ensure its passage by December.
Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives, made this known at a stakeholders’ roundtable on the 2020 budget in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to the Speaker, who was represented at the event by Idris Wase, the Deputy Speaker, the prompt passage of the budget will enable the country revert to January-December cycle.
He said: “We are ready to receive the budget on or before the September 30, and to conclude legislative action on the budget before December 31, 2019, so that we can return to January-December cycle.”
Gbajabiamila also said the ninth National Assembly will address the challenges affecting key financial and industrial sectors in the country.
He explained that reforms would be carried out in order to remove regulatory and policy obstacles, which would enable businesses to thrive and attract more investors for the economy.
He said, “We are determined to address the problems of our significant infrastructure deficits by funding critical infrastructure projects across the country and by working with the private sector to devise and implement effective strategies to encourage private sector investment in public works projects.
“We will revamp the national security and policing framework through the implementation of a community policing strategy that brings our citizens and our communities into an enduring partnership with the security agencies to jointly ensure that our communities are rid of the criminal elements who offer nothing of value and destroy everything we hope now and in the future to build.
“The power of the purse, the right and responsibility to manage government expenditure through the appropriation process is the central power of the legislature. It is this power that makes all else possible.”
In attendance were Ahmed Idris, Accountant General of the Federation; Babatunde Fowler, Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service; Elias Mbam, Chairman, Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission; and Babatunde Irukera, Director-General, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission;
Also present were Patience Oniha, Director-General, Debt Management Office; Garba Abari, Director-General, National Orientation Agency; Ayuba Wabba, President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC); and Quadri Olayele, President, Trade Union Congress (TUC).