The National Assembly gave assurance yesterday that the 2016 Appropriation bill will be passed on March 17.
The chairmen of the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Appropriations, Danjuma Goje and Jibrin Abdulmumin, made the disclosure during a joint press briefing on the update of the budget, Wednesday.
It would be recalled that both chambers of the National Assembly had earlier fixed February 25 for the passage of the budget but following controversies over spurious allocations in proposals, the date was postponed.
Giving a detailed account of the process towards the budget passage, Goje and Abdulmumin said reports from both chambers would be laid on Wednesday, March 16, before they are considered and passed on March 17.
Afterwards, the passed appropriation will be transmitted to the Executive for presidential assent to effectively become an Act.
Different committees of the two legislative bodies had submitted their reports, after hosting budget defence sessions for MDAs, to the Appropriations Committees.
Mr. Goje said, “The various sub committees of the two chambers have interacted with the various MDA’s, the Committees have produced their reports and all the Committees of the two chambers have fully submitted their reports.
“We have been working very hard round the clock at the same time at the weekends and we will continue to do that until we finish the compilation of our reports.
“The essence of the press conference is to give Nigerians a progress report”.
Speaking in the same vein, Mr. Abdulmumin said, “After all consultation with the leadership of the House and Senate we can confirm to you that all things being equal we should be able to lay our report of the 2016 Appropriation bill before the House and the Senate on the 16th of March and the consideration, hopefully should be done on the 17th.
“So it is safe for us to conclude that the 2016 Appropriation bill will be passed on the 17th of March 2016.
“We are going to open in the next few days’ consultation with the relevant stakeholders in this process, most especially the executive arm of government.
“Particularly in the case of the House, we are going to engage the Minister of Budget and Planning, Minister of Finance, DG Budget office.
“Most importantly we are working hand in hand with the Senate and things are looking up, we are putting in our best on a daily basis”.