By Akinwale Kasali
The Senate has adjourned plenary till April 9, to allow its Committee on Appropriation conclude work on the 2019 Budget.
This followed the inability of the Committee to submit its report on the budget as proposed when the Senate adjourned on March 20.
Announcing the committee’s position, its Vice Chairman, Sen. Sonni Ogbuoji, said less than 10 committees out of over 60 had submitted their budget reports to it, and urged the Upper Chamber for a two weeks extension.
“Our report is not ready because some committees are yet to submit their reports.
“For now we have less than 10 committees that have submitted their reports.
So we are asking for two weeks. If they submit by Friday the reports should be ready in two weeks’ time.
“I plead that the House empowers the committee to go with the Executive position for committees that fail to submit their reports,” he said.
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, urged the committee to tidy up its report and lay it latest on April 11, to enable the House pass the budget on April 16.
“We suspended sitting so that today the Appropriation Committee can lay its report for consideration.
“We must make sure they submit latest Friday. So let us agree that they will submit on Friday and we will suspend plenary by one week till April 9.
“We should be able to reconvene here on April 9 and latest April 11 to lay the report
and pass the budget latest on April 16.
“We have the Easter break coming. So we do not have the luxury of time,” he said.
He warned that any standing committee that did not comply with the deadline would have itself to blame, adding that the senate would in such case resort to Executive position on the budgets.
The senate on March 20, adjourned plenary to April 2, to enable its standing committees attend to heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies’ (MDAs) Budget defence and for the committee on appropriation to lay its report.