budget 2020
The president said it was a budget of Fiscal Consolidation to strengthen Nigeria’s macroeconomic environment (image courtesy: State House)

The National Assembly – comprising the Senate and the House of Representatives – has said it would pass the 2020 Appropriation Bill on 28 November 2019, Concise News reports.

Addressing newsmen on Tuesday after the presentation of the bill by President Muhammadu Buhari, spokesman for the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu, said the lawmakers were committed to realising a switch from “what it used to be” to January-December budget calendar.

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“From Wednesday, the 30th of October to Tuesday, the 5th of November, 2019, we are going to have submission and defence of budget reports to the Committee on Appropriations. It is important to note here that the termination date for submission of budget and defence of the same budget will be on the 5th of November. After the 5th of November, we will not accept any submission or defence by any MDA,” Kalu said.

“From Wednesday, the 6th of November to the 27th of November, 2019, we are going to have the collation and harmonisation of reports by the Appropriations Committee. It is our expectation – and we are working towards that with this road map we have set – that on the 28th of November, 2019, we will have the presentation of the report by the Committees on Appropriations to the Senate and the House. What it means is that our expectation is that we want to be done with this exercise on the 28 th of November, 2019. We will be done with the budget.

“Our idea is that from the beginning of December 2019, the budget is ready. You are aware that if we are able to achieve this by the first week of December or the last week of November, we will be on time to make sure that from January 2020, we will kick-start with our new budget of 2020. It is a great achievement.”

President Buhari had presented a proposed budget of N10.33 trillion for 2020 to the federal lawmakers.

Buhari said that the budget was prepared to strengthen Nigeria’s macroeconomic environment; investing in critical infrastructure, human capital development and enabling institutions, especially in key job-creating sectors.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s major opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has claimed that the N10.33 trillion 2020 budget proposal presented by Buhari will further impoverish Nigerians.

The party, in a statement issued by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, urged the federal lawmakers to redirect the fiscal proposal to serve the interest of majority of Nigerians.

According to the opposition party, the core of the budget remains “hazy, showing streaks of padding, fraudulent duplication, replete with false performance indices, deceptive projections and inexplicable expenditure assertions which create openings for continued looting of our national patrimony by leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and persons close to the Presidency.”