saraki-billThe President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki (Kwara Central), has assured Nigerians of speedy passage of the 2017 Appropriation Bill.

He said this as the Upper Chamber resumed from its three-week recess on Tuesday.

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This would be an upgrade on the time it took before the 2016 Appropriation Bill was passed. The bill was not passed till close to the end of the first quarter of 2016.

A delay that adversely affected the implementation process and also lessened the impact of the government’s policies.

Saraki said that based on the recommendations of the Budget Reform Committee, the Senate would ensure timely passage of the budget so that its implementation would follow a regular fiscal circle.

According to him, the budget is the most critical instrument for economic reordering and effective tool to stimulate the economy for even distribution of development across the country.

In the same vein, he sent out a warning to ministries who submit their budgets late. This, he said, would not be tolerated.

“This is why I urge all agencies yet to submit their budgets to do so quickly as budgets not received in time may have to wait for the next budget circle,” he said

Saraki said that in the last quarter, the Senate successfully passed 49 bills through third reading and 68 bills through second reading.

“This is a record which has never been matched in the history of the national assembly.”

He called on his colleagues to ensure the passage of all bills bothering on economic reform before the Senate in order to get the country out of recession.

“Ideally, we would like to see them passed together with the 2017 budget.

“It is hoped that as we begin to turn our focus toward the 2017 budget, these bills will be implemented simultaneously with the budget to enable us exit the recession quickly.”

He urged all senate committees involved with priority bills to double efforts to ensure that the bills were ready by the end of the first quarter.

Reaction To Southern Kaduna Killings

In his reaction to the massacres in Kaduna, Saraki said the Senate would be proactive in their intervention. There would be a thorough

There would be a thorough and careful investigation into the reasons, instigators and effect of the killings.

He called on Nasir El-Rufai, the executive governor of Kaduna state, to invoke the powers vested on him and put a halt to the violence in his state.

On protection of consumer rights, he said that the Senate would pay attention to such rights to ensure that they were not violated.

“We are prepared to defend the rights of Nigerians to receive superior quality of products or services for which they pay with their hard-earned money.”