OrderPaperToday – President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has called on the Federal Government to make available more funds to security agencies in order to combat the worrisome spate of insecurity in the country.
He made this call in a welcome address delivered at the resumption of Senate plenary on Tuesday, at the National Assembly complex.
Recall that the Senate approved a supplementary budget request of almost N1trillion which included a decent allocation for security agencies to combat insecurity just before its annual recess in July.
The provision for security, according to Lawan, was appropriate and indeed necessary, urging that the trajectory of increase in funds and resources to the security sector be sustained.
He said: “We should consider a ramp up of more resources for our security agencies in the 2022 appropriation.
“The fight against the security challenges in our country requires continued engagements between the National Assembly and the Executive arms of Government. It also requires continuous engagements with citizens, for the necessary and desired results to be achieved. We must therefore remain resolute and focused in achieving those.”
He reiterated that the Federal Government has no more serious challenges to tackle than insecurity.
He, therefore, directed the Senate Committees on Defence and Intelligence to step up their oversight functions on the agencies.
The President of the Senate also disclosed that the report of Senate Joint Committee on Finance, National Planning and Economic Matters, Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Petroleum Resources (Upstream) on the 2022/2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP), would be presented to the Senate soon for consideration.
This, according to him, is in preparatory to the presentation of the 2022 Appropriation Bill by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In his words: “Let me emphasize that the Senate, indeed the National Assembly is primed and ready to receive and start work on the Bill.
“The Standing Committees are ready to receive Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for budget Defense. As in the previous years, all MDAs are expected to defend their budget proposals within October 2021, as this is the only allotted window for the exercise.”
The early passage of 2020 and 2021 budget, according to Lawan, could be attributed to the 5.01% increase in Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) the second quarter of 2021 – strongest growth since fourth quarter 2014.
He further disclosed that the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution will also present it’s report in the upper chamber soon.
Just as he announced that the National Assembly is ready to set up a Conference Committee between the Senate and House of Representatives to harmonize the two versions of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill passed in July 2021.