The Chairman of the National Assembly, Sen. Ahmad Lawan, said the assembly would ensure the passage of the 2020 Appropriation Bill of N10.33 trillion in December.
Lawan who is also the President of the Senate said this at the two-day Joint National Budget Hearing on the 2020 Appropriation Bill in the National Assembly Complex on Wednesday.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on October 8, presented the budget proposal to a joint session of the national assembly with a call on the legislators to change the present budget cycle to January-December.
“We have set between the two chambers; and we have resolved that this time around, we must pass this budget before the end of Dec.
“We are hopeful that the budget will be passed before we go on Christmas break by God’s grace.
“And of course, I am glad to say that President Buhari had shown commitment to what the national assembly desires.
“This was seen when the government issued a statement asking ministers and heads of agencies not to travel without defending their budget; that is a total commitment to what we desire in the national assembly,” Lawan said.
He said that the public hearing on the 2020 appropriation was no doubt a special one because it was another important step in a bid to resolve the undesirable budget cycle.
“This cycle has created problems for planning and for the proper implementation of the nation’s macro-economic framework.
“The macroeconomic framework needs to be reasonably predictable the way it happens in other climes.
“It is when the framework is predictable that it can positively influence the micro details in the budget proposal.”
He said that the 9th National Assembly was committed to correcting the anomaly in the budget cycle.
In his remark, Speaker House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, called on stakeholders to critically examine the document before the legislature exercised its full authority as provided for by the Constitution.
Gbajabiamila said that the budget of any country represented the blueprint of the direction its economy was going to take adding that it was the basis upon which everything else was built.
He said that the outcome of the hearing should reflect the true federal character of Nigeria.
“No lopsidedness; everybody has a part of what is the national cake. We are all stakeholders,” he said.