President Muhammadu Buhari will next week present the 2020 Appropriation Bill to a joint sitting of the National Assembly, the Presidency has said.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Reps), Umar El-Yakub, made this known on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said that the failure of the National Assembly to consider and pass the 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategic Paper was part of the reason Buhari was unable to keep to his promise of September Budget presentation.
The presidential aide added that Buhari’s engagement at the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly also delayed the presentation of the 2020 Budget.
El-Yakub added that much as the presentation was delayed, it was for some reasons.
“Remember that the MTEF was presented to both chambers (Senate and House of Representatives) last week.
“You also know the President just returned from New York at the weekend where he attended the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. Coincidentally, today is Independence Day (Tuesday), meaning that only yesterday (Monday) was there to present the budget if he was to present it.
“But, it will be the best bet if he (Buhari) presents the budget after the MTEF has been considered and passed by the National Assembly. So, yes, the budget is a bit late by a week or two, but for good reasons.
“Perhaps, we didn’t anticipate UNGA and the fact that MTEF had to be finalised and approved by the Federal Executive Council before it was transmitted to the National Assembly,” he told the Punch.
Asked when the Appropiration Bill would be presented to the National Assembly, the presidential aide replied, “Mr President will be travelling to South Africa on Wednesday (today).
“By the time he comes back, the budget presentation will be done next week (2nd week of October), though I can’t confirm a specific date to you right now.”
Concise News reports that the administration of Buhari had promised to return Nigeria to the January-December budget cycle.
Nigeria currently runs a May-June budget cycle, a development caused by executive-legislature delays since the 8th National Assembly.