By Temitope Ponle
Abuja, Oct. 8, 2019
The House of Representatives is to suspend plenary sessions from Thursday, Oct. 10 until Nov. 30 to enable its committees to pass the 2020 budget by December.
Rep. Benjamin Kalu (APC-Abia), spokesman of the House, told newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday that
the suspension is in a bid to restore the January to December budget cycle.
For this end, the spokesman said the House has inaugurated all standing committees which have started working with ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to appraise previous budgets and compare with the 2020 budget.
“We have set up a roadmap which goes as follows: on Wednesday 9 to Thursday 10 October, we have debates on the general principles of the 2020 Appropriation Bill as well as the reading and referral to the committees.
“On Thursday, Oct. 10, the House will meet with all the chairmen of all the committees to guide them on what is expected as regards the 2020 budget.
“From Oct. 10 until Tuesday, Oct. 29, we will be having budget hearing and engagement with MDAs by the appropriation sub-committees.
“Monday, Oct. 21 to Tuesday, Oct. 22, the House will be having public hearings on the 2020 Appropriation Bill.
“From Wednesday, Oct. 30 to Tuesday, Nov. 5, submission and defence of report by the MDAs would be submitted to the Appropriation Committee.
“The termination date for the submission and defence of budget report is on Nov. 5. We will not accept any submission or defence from MDAs after then.”
The legislator said that the appropriation committee would be having collation and harmonisation of reports from Nov. 6 to Nov. 27.
He said that the presentation of the report of the Committee of Appropriation would be made to the senate.
“By Nov. 28, we will be done with the budget.
“Our idea is that from the beginning of December the budget is ready so by January 2020, we will kick-start with the budget,” he said.
NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari presented a N10. 33 trillion budget estimates to a joint session of the National Assembly. Buhari said that the projected allocation of Ministry of Power was N127 billion and that of Transportation was N123 billionOther key capital spending allocations in the 2020 Budget include Universal Basic Education Commission; N112 billion, Defence; N100 billion, among others.