The Senate President of the National Assembly, Ahmad Lawan on Friday pledged that the annual Appropriation Bill will henceforth be pass within three months after submission.
Ahmad gave this assurance while fielding questions from journalist in the State House. He said that the decision was a unanimous agreement between the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Although he noted that this will be achievable also with the cooperation and effort of the executive in presenting the budget on time.
“But I want to say here that it takes two sides of government to pass the budget in good time and I am sure that the executive side of the government will like to present the budget before the National Assembly in good time – in September or early October – and by the grace of God, we in the National Assembly will ensure that we carry out the budget defence and do the remaining parts of the processes and before we leave for Christmas break, the budget would have been passed and Mr. President would have the budget before him to sign.”
The Senate President added that it is a joint effort for the legislative and executive to see it through.
“This requires sacrifice in the National Assembly and the executive side of the government that we create a window for budget defence within a dedicated period and timeframe – say a month of which only budget defence would be carried out in the National Assembly.
“It is our desire in the National Assembly that every minister, every chief executive officer of every agency comes to the National Assembly to defend the budget of his agency or her agency before going out of the country. That window is going to be available within the one month but that is the only window that is going to be available. After that for example, every minister or head of agency who did not come to defend the budget of that institution, the National Assembly will go ahead to work on such a budget appropriately.
Lawn while revealing the agenda of the ninth National Assembly, promising that the legislative arm under his leadership will be focused, patriotic and nationalistic in nature.
Lawan expressed that the 9th assembly would carry out its duty with accountability and caution with a view to averting deficiency in the system adding that the federal legislative would put in work to ensure recovery from the previous years.
According to him, the eight National Assembly failed to perform optimally and hence, the current ninth assembly is prepared to make up for the lost grounds.
He went on: “The expectations from Nigerians is a National Assembly that is very focused, that is very united, that is very patriotic and nationalistic and that is by the grace of God, the National Assembly that we shall have.
“I saw that my colleagues exhibited patriotism and desire to work for Nigerians and therefore we hope to have a National Assembly that will work for Nigerians optimally and patriotically. We also hope to have a National Assembly that will work with the executive arm of government in partnership and synergy to ensure that we perform our functions as a government because we are a single unit.
“I also foresee a National Assembly that will insist that whoever has a responsibility in government performs that responsibility because it takes all of us to work together to ensure that no part, or nobody is left behind. If there is anyone that is deficient, it will cost the system.
“So, we are going to work very hard. We will like to catch up the lost grounds over the last four years. I am sure we did not perform to our capacity as a National Assembly in the last National Assembly. This time around, we want to perform to full capacity and by the grace of God, Nigerians will see a positive difference in terms of the delivery of service to our country men and women.”