Senate President Hopeful Of 2020 Budget Passage Before Christmas Break

Nigeria’s Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, on Friday said that the National Assembly under his leadership will work hard to ensure the 2020 Appropriation Bill is passed before the lawmakers proceed for the Christmas break.
Addressing newsmen shortly after arriving from a private visit to Morocco and Germany, Senator Lawan noted that the federal legislators have so far received the Federal Government’s Medium Term Economic Framework (MTEF) and is now eagerly awaiting the 2020 budget proposals to enable early enactment.
“We hope to take on the MTEF within the first legislative week. Our committee on Finance will be saddled with its first major responsibility that it works expeditiously on the Fiscal Strategy Paper/Medium Term Expenditure Framework’s request of the executive arm of government and thereafter the budget will come after that.
“We are hopeful and optimistic, as well as hungry and thirsty, to receive the 2020 appropriations bill,” he noted, stressing that the document will be considered when the Senate is back from its recess next week.
A statement by Ola Awoniyi, Special Adviser on Media to President of the Senate, said Dr. Lawan seized the advantage of the current recess by the National Assembly for the private visit.
“The National Assembly will work so hard to ensure that the 2020 budget is passed before we go on Christmas break,” as one issue the National Assembly will take head-on to ensure that the undesirable trend of Nigeria’s national budget is reversed.
“We believe this can be achieved, as doing so would make the economy better and predictable.
“We also think an early passage of the 2020 appropriations bill will have a desirable impact on Nigerians,” Lawan said.
“I am aware that the executive arm of government is working assiduously to ensure that the appropriation bill for the year 2020 is presented to the National Assembly by the end of this month.
The Senate President said the ninth National Assembly would work assiduously with the executive arm of government to improve the security situation of the country.
The Senate, he added, will also evaluate the crisis that affected Nigerians living in South Africa.
“In the eighth Senate, we had an Ad-Hoc Committee that I was privileged to chair, to review the security architecture of the country. We are going to look into that report, and in addition, other contemporary issues that affect security in the country.
“We are also going to look into the crisis that affected Nigerians living in South Africa.
“You recall that this issue was reviewed before we went on recess. The Senate felt as an institution that our citizens’ diplomacy must be protected where ever they go in the world.
“The government must be there for them, and I’m happy that after the xenophobic crisis, the Federal Government was able to take a position.
“We need to be much more resolute, whatever the situation is; our citizens must be protected. If someone runs afoul of the laws of a country, there are processes and procedures on how such a person can be prosecuted.
“Therefore, we must try to protect our citizens. I also think we must be proactive to tell our citizens that if they choose to live in any country, they must ensure to stay within the limit of the laws of that country, just as we expect of foreigners in ours,” Lawan stated.