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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Reps Reserve Tuesday For Debate on 2021 Budget

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The House of Representatives will on Tuesday begin debate on the general principles of the 2021 Appropriation Bill which President Muhammadu Buhari submitted to the National Assembly on October 8, 2020.

Money Central learnt that the House reserved Tuesday and Wednesday for members to make inputs into the budget before it goes to the committees for budget defence.

President Buhari had presented a budget estimate of N13.08 trillion to a joint session of the National Assembly for consideration and approval.

Senate President Ahmed Lawan and House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila assured President Buhari of quick passage of the document.

The President had asked the lawmakers to pay close attention to revenue generating agencies and revenue generation, which he said was a major challenge to the government.

He also appealed for quick passage of the document to enable his administration begin its implementation in January 2021.

It was gathered that the leadership of the House asked members to prepared to air their views on the budget presentation, while a date for the debate on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will be announced tomorrow.

Some members expressed the belief that if the House adjourned for budget defence without debating the general principles of the PIB, the document might suffer some setbacks, which might slow down its passage.

Also, during the budget presentation, the President urged the lawmakers to ensure quick passage of the PIB, which he said is expected to bring significant reform to the oil and gas sector, create more jobs for Nigerians and put more money into government coffers.

A comprehensive PIB has been in the works in the past 20 years with majority of the Bills so far debated coming as private members while the current document before the House is coming as an Executive Bill.

The House Committee on PIB, which is headed by Chief Whip Mohammed Tahir Mongunu, with the chairmen of all the oil and gas-related committees of the House as members has five members drawn from each of the geopolitical zones of the country.

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