The National Assembly has outlined a roadmap to meet the December 31 target for the passage and signing of the 2024 Appropriation Bill, aligning with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s call for an expedited process.
President Tinubu, presenting the budget on Wednesday, urged lawmakers to ensure a speedy passage, emphasizing the importance of maintaining the January to December financial cycle.
A high-stakes parley is set for tomorrow, summoning Ministers, heads of departments, security chiefs, and CEOs of institutions earmarked for funding. This crucial meeting aims to establish a blueprint for navigating the intricacies of the N27.6 trillion Budget of Renewed Hope.
Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, Chairman of the Senate Appropriation Committee, issues a stern warning, declaring a no-nonsense approach. Heads of ministries and agencies failing to defend their allocations risk zero allocation next year.
Adeola underscores that the plan for swift budget approval may face hurdles if the executive introduces fresh requests.
Senator Adeola said:
“We are sitting as a joint committee (Senate and House of Representatives) and what this means is that only one report will come from the Appropriation Committee.
“Unlike in the past when we had to sit together for harmonisation and concurrence, what we will have from the joint committees is the harmonised report. This will save considerable time.
“What we don’t expect from the Executive is the introduction of a new item that had not been accommodated in the budget that is already with us for consideration.
“The strategies we have adopted will make the deadline achievable.
“President Tinubu himself is aware of the exigency of time and he has warned his ministers and heads of MDAs to cooperate with us.
“We believe that nobody from the executive arm of government will flout the directive on this.
“If any agency fails to defend its vote, nothing will be appropriated for such agency for next year.
“We need maximum cooperation from the heads of the MDAs to achieve the set target.
“Any minister who fails to honour our invitation will operate on zero allocation next year.
“So, we are putting a lot of sacrifice into the task to deliver the budget on schedule. This is the only way to sustain the January – December budget cycle.”
Adeola’s signed invitation notice states that Dr. Ayo Teriba has been invited to serve as a guest lecturer. Dr. Teriba, the economist, will be addressing strategies for achieving enhanced outcomes from the 2024 budget.
Tomorrow’s one-day retreat expects the participation of Senate standing committees, House of Representatives counterparts, and a comprehensive lineup including service chiefs, Inspector-General of Police, and heads of Customs and Immigration Services.