The Senate on Thursday passed the 2013 Appropriation bill of N4.99 trillion into law. The Senate Deputy President, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the plenary session, commended the National Assembly for passing the 2013 budget before the end of the year.
Ekweremadu noted that the National Assembly deserved to be commended because this was the first time since 1999 that both chambers passed the budget without going into conference.
He also used the opportunity to challenge the executive to ensure effective implementation of the 2013 budget following its early passage.
He described the early passage of the 2013 budget as a vote for the maturity of the National Assembly and the progress of the nation's democracy.
"I will like to congratulate you on this achievement. I recall that in 2009 this senate passed the Appropriation Act before going for Christmas.
"But this is the first time since 1999 that the two chambers are passing the Appropriation Act before the end of the year without any need for any conferencing.
"I believe that this will challenge the executive to ensure that there is proper implementation of the budget starting from the first day of January 2013.
"But I believe that now that we've passed the budget in earnest there will be no more excuse for the non-implementation of our budget.
"So, we expect that 2013 budget will be implemented to the fullest," he said.
Ekweremadu also urged the lawmakers to discharge their oversight functions effectively to ensure that the budget was properly implemented by the executive.
"This also challenges us to start from day one in January 2013 the issue of our oversight to ensure the proper execution of the budget of 2013.
"So, I will like to call on every member of the NASS, to get ready for us to ensure the proper implementation of budget 2013," he stressed.
Meanwhile, the senate has adjourned for the Christmas break to resume on Jan. 16, 2013.