… as 2016 budget to end on May 5, 2017
Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriations, Danjuma Goje, said on Monday that the 2017 budget might be passed before May 2017.
This comes as the Senate has disclosed that the lifespan of the 2016 budget would end on May 5, 2017.
Goje’s confirmation of the 2017 budget passage is contrary to the March 30 deadline given by Senate president, Bukola Saraki.
The Appropriations Committee chairman warned heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to desist from the practice of “mopping up” of funds at the end of March 2017, stating that there was no reason for that.
Speaking to journalists at the National Assembly on Monday, Goje said the National Assembly maybe compelled to extend the validity period of the budget, in the event that it is unable to pass the 2017 Appropriation Bill on or before the midnight of 5th of May, 2017.
He explained: “Last year, when we were producing this 2016 Appropriation Bill, we realized that at the end of each year, there were usually requests for an extension of the budget from the executive. To avoid that, we decided to incorporate this new thing.
“In the 2016 Appropriation Act, which President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law, clause 11 of it says that “in line with the provisions of Section 318 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended, this bill will run for a period of 12 months, starting from the day it is assented into law.
“President Buhari signed this bill into law on the 6th of May, 2016. This means this budget will run from that date up to the midnight of 5th of May, 2017. Unless of course if the Act is amended or altered as deemed fit by the National Assembly.
“As far as the law is concerned, there is no need for any extension or mop up by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). The mop they usually do will now be illegal. Except the National Assembly, in conjunction with the executive, amend this law, this is the position of the 2016 budget.
“We do not have to extend the 2016 budget. If May comes and there is need to extend, then we can do otherwise. I believe before that date, the 2017 budget will be passed. For now, this is the position of the law.”
Forty-four (44) of out 68 committees in the upper legislative chamber are yet to defend their budget proposals before the Appropriations Committee.
The sub-committees that have not yet defended their 2017 budget before the Committee on Appropriations include: Capital Markets; Industries; Gas; Airforce; Army; Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes; Communications; Co-operation and Integration in Africa and NEPAD; Culture and Tourism; Defence; Petroleum Upstream; Petroleum Downstream; Ecology and Climate Change and Environment.
Others are Federal Capital Territory; Federal Roads Maintenance Agency; Finance; Foreign Affairs; Health; Housing; ICT and Cyber-Crimes; Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC); Information and National Orientation; Land Transport; National Identity and National Population; National Planning; National Security and Intelligence; Navy; Niger Delta; Police Affairs; Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy and Povert Alleviation and Social Welfare.
Other Committees include Works; Public Accounts; Primary Health Care and Communicable Diseases; Science and Technology; Sustainable Development, SDGs; Solid Minerals; Special Duties; Sports and Youth Development; States and Local Governments; Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND; Water Resources and Women Affairs.