Contrary to expectations, the Senate on Thursday failed to pass the 2023 Appropriation Bill, explaining that the copy submitted to a joint session of the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari in October.was a messy copy.
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, while adjourning plenary on Thursday, said the Senate and the House of Representatives would reconvene next Wednesday to pass the budget to beat the December 31 deadline.
“The reason why we couldn’t pass the budget is because what was brought to us was not a clean copy. Our committee on Appropriation had to clean the copies in collaboration with the Executive arm.
The problem came from them, that’s the Executive. The cleaning of the budget was concluded yesterday, Wednesday. The Secretariat couldn’t work on the copies of the budget. The earliest time we can pass the budget will be next Wednesday, 28th of December. This is a festive period. People need to go on holidays. Next Wednesday, our members and those in the House of Representatives will pass the budget.
The Finance Committee is holding its public hearing too. But the time is too short. We received a new request on Wednesday. The Senate needs to adjourn to allow our committees to get to work,” Lawan said.
On Wednesday, the President of the Senate announced that Thursday would be the last legislative day for the 9th Senate this year, raising expectations that the Red Chamber would pass the 2023 Appropriation Bill in line with the January to December budget calendar.
“Tomorrow (Thursday), by the grace of God, will be the last legislative day for the 9th Senate this year. It will be quite busy for us because we have to receive the report of the 2023 Appropriation Bill from our Committte on Appropriations. We will also receive report on Finance Bill 2022 from our Committee on Finance. We will also receive the report from the Appropriation Committee on the two reports that I have just read.
Also, the Committee on Power will be bringing the report on power, so it’s going to be very busy for us. So, we may have to stay here for many hours in order to pass or consider the report,” he said.