NASS ready to pass 2020 budget by December – House Speaker

The National Assembly has said it is ready to receive the 2020 Appropriation Bill for consideration  and passage.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, made the declaration  at a stakeholders’ roundtable on the 2020 budget in Abuja on Tuesday.

Gbajabiamila, who was represented on the occasion by the Deputy Speaker, Idris Wase, 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.”

The Speaker  said  the  House  was  committed  to  reforming the   key  financial and industrial sectors to ensure that the government lived up to its responsibilities.

Part of the reforms, he  said, was to remove regulatory and policy problems   for  businesses  to  thrive and   for the  economy   to  attract more investors.

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.”

Gbajabiamila added  “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.”

He said he was confident the dialogue session  would create ideas and strategies  to help  deliver a budget process that  would be in the  interest of  Nigerians.

“Rest assured of my personal commitment to these efforts, and my determination to see this process through to success,” the Speaker  said.

The  Accountant  General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris; Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Babatunde Fowler; President, Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba; President, Trade Union Congress, Quadri Olayele; Chairman, Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Elias Mbam; Director-General, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, Babatunde Irukera; Director-General, Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha; and Director-General, National Orientation Agency, Garba Abari, were present on the occasion.

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