Nigeria: Senate Defers 2019 Budget Passage Again

25 April 2019

The Senate yesterday postponed the consideration and passage of the 2019 budget to next week due to non-availability of details.

This is about the third time that the Red Chamber would be deferring the passage of the country's money bill.

First, Senate President Bukola Saraki said the budget would be passed on April 16 to no avail. The budget report was listed for presentation on April 9, but it was not liad.

The Senate Appropriation Committee headed by Sen Mohammed Danjuma Goje (APC, Gombe) eventually laid the budget report on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday, April 17, but it was not considered that day.

The Red Chamber listed the budget consideration and passage on the Order Paper yesterday.

However, when senators reached the item, Senate Leader Ahmad Lawan (APC, Yobe) observed that both Goje and his deputy Sen Sunny Ogbouji (APC, Ebonyi), were not on the floor.

The Senate Leader then said the item should be stepped down since both the chairman and his deputy were not on the floor.

But Saraki said Goje had informed him that some senators were yet to get details of the budget and that he directed the Clerk of the Senate to ensure that the senators got printed copies latest by Monday.

"The chairman (Goje) did speak to me that some of the members had not got printed copies of the details. I have directed the Clerk to make sure that latest by Monday, we all have printed copies of the budget so that everybody can see the details of the budget.

"By so doing, we can now pass it at the next legislative day. Because we don't want to run into problems where we pass it without details and our colleagues will now comment on that," he said.

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