Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, yesterday hinted that the 2020 budget proposal presented to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari on October 8, will be passed by the two chambers next Wednesday.
Lawan, who spoke while receiving in audience a delegation from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) who paid him a courtesy visit, said both chambers of the National Assembly may pass the 2020 budget by next week Wednesday.
According to him, the Senate and House Committees on Appropriation sought a one week extension to enable them conclude work on the report of the 2020 Appropriations Bill to be laid next Tuesday. His words: “We want to pass the budget 2020 before the end of the year. Actually, today would have been the day for laying the budget, but our committees on appropriations sought for an extension by one week only.
“By Tuesday next week, we expect the budget 2020 to be laid before the two chambers of the National Assembly. It is our desire to pass the budget the following day Wednesday. So we are thinking the budget would be laid on the 3rd of December, and by December 4, (on Wednesday), the Senate and the House of Representatives should be able to pass the 2020 budget.”
The Senate President also sought the partnership of ICAN with the National Assembly in ensuring accountability and transparency on the part of agencies tasked with revenue generation, collection and remittance.
“We need your support in the National Assembly. We have particularly three committees that require the kind of support that you will give. First, we have the Committee on Finance. As a committee, we need the support of ICAN. Going forward, there are so many challenges that will come up in the implementation of the laws. One area we have a challenge today is the area of revenue generation, collection and remittance.
“Until we are able to generate sufficient revenues, most of our hopes and aspiration will continue to give us a lot of challenges in realising them.
“So we need a situation where we will continue to engage the revenue agencies. We want to see transparency in all that they do. We want to ensure that where there are challenges in terms of legislation, that we provide the intervention they require to be efficient and effective. One thing we are determined to ensure is that whatever is generated is remitted to the federation account as provided in the constitution. So, Accountants will be very fundamental in what we are going to do.” – Thisday.