The House of Representatives has scheduled passage of the 2022 Appropriation Bill for December 15, 2021.

Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, Aliyu Betara, disclosed this at a meeting with members on Thursday.

This was just as the House passed the Federal Government’s budget for second reading and adjourned plenary till November 9, 2021, during which Ministries, Departments and Agencies were to appear before the standing committees of the House to defend their budget estimates.

Betara said the committee was to lay its report on the budget on December 14, which the House was expected to consider and adopt the next day.

He partly said, “The (standing) committees will report back to this (appropriations) committee where sub-committees headed by our committee members need to work with those (standing) committees. There are guidelines for every committee.”

During the second reading, the lawmakers had taken turns to criticise the internal and external borrowings by the Federal Government, the huge budget deficit and failure by the ministries, departments and agencies to generate adequate revenue to finance the budget, among other issues.

After the second reading, the House adjourned plenary till November 9.

House threatens MDAs

Kalu also threatened that MDAs discovered to have failed to implement the 2021 Appropriation Act to the letter would be dismissed from defence sessions.

He said, “It is one thing to move the budget early enough; it is one thing to return the budget to January-to-December circle but it is another thing to sabotage the government by saying you have not received 100 per cent funding and so, there will be no implementation. There is no place where the Appropriation Act says you must receive 100 per cent funding before you start implementation.

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“We frown at agencies of government which say ‘we have only received 75 per cent; we only received 60 per cent and we are waiting for more to come before we begin.’ Why don’t you start with the 60 per cent and when the others come, you mobilise?”

The House’ spokesman also said, “I want to assure Nigerians that the budget will not leave the way it came to the National Assembly. It is either we take it up or bring it down; it will not be ‘garbage in garbage out.’ A lot of work is going to be done.”

Omo-Agege promises budget passage before December 16

Meanwhile, the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, has assured Nigerians that the National Assembly will pass the 2022 budget before the year runs out.

Omo-Agege gave the assurance on Thursday, in a statement issued by his media aide, Yomi Odunuga.

The statement is  titled, ‘2022 Budget ‘ll be ready before December 16 – Omo-Agege.’

It added that Omo-Agege spoke when he hosted his former classmates from the Nigerian Law School, Class of ‘86 (The Centennial Class) in Abuja, led by ‘Class Captain’ Oladipo Okpeseyi, SAN.

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had last Thursday presented the 2022 budget of N16.3tn to a joint session of the National Assembly.

The Deputy President of the Senate said early approval and signing of the appropriation bill into law will ensure planning and efficiency in the management and application of the nation’s resources.

He explained that Nigerians remained the ultimate beneficiaries of the return to the January to December budget cycle.

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“The budget process is ongoing. In the next 30 days, we will conclude it and pass it before we go on Christmas break, before December 16,” he said.

On the request for the completion of a moot court at the Nigerian Law School headquarters, Bwari, Abuja, by the Class, the Delta Central lawmaker promised to assist in completing the project. He was excited that his class has taken on such a laudable project.

Speaking on a bill sponsored by his colleague that seeks to increase the number of law school campuses in Nigeria from six to 12, the federal legislator emphasised the need to reach out to all stakeholders to determine its acceptability or otherwise.

He said, “I want to thank you for the initiative you have taken on this moot court. It’s a great idea, especially for trained advocates. I really don’t see how you can hone your skills if you are not given the opportunity and privilege to have facilities like that.”

Okpeseyi said the visit was aimed at briefing the lawmaker on the activities of the class, especially as it relates to her legacy project of building a moot court at the Nigerian Law School headquarters, Bwari, Abuja, as well as the forthcoming Annual General Meeting of the class holding in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

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