2016 Budget to expire May, not March — Senate

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday said the 2016 budget would run for 12 months and, therefore, expire on May 5 2017.

President Muhammadu Buhari assented to the budget on May 6, 2016, after a long delay amid allegations of budget padding and fraud.

According to the chairman of the Senate committee on appropriations, Danjuma Goje, the law backing the 2016 budget, 2016 Appropriations Act, provides that the budget shall run for 12 months, starting from the date it was promulgated.

“As far as the Bill that was signed into law by Mr. President is concerned, there will be no mop up on 31st March 2017 since the validity period for the 2016 budget ends midnight May 5th, 2017, ” said Mr. Goje.

“If that is done, it will be a violation of the Act. We carefully created the clause that made provision for May 5, 2017. The Act says that the 2016 budget will run for 12 months starting from the date the bill was assented to and it was assented to on May 6th 2016.”

The lawmaker assured that before expiration of the 2016 budget, the National Assembly would have passed the 2017 budget proposal by Mr. Buhari.

“It is necessary for Nigerians to know that there should be no anxiety about mopping up of funds by March 31,” he said. “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 must have been passed. We don’t have to do any extension because we have taken care of that. Therefore no anxiety, no mopping up of funds before 12 months period.”

The 2017 budget process is still at committee level, after which the appropriations committees of the House and the Senate will report to their respective Chambers before passage and transmission to the president for assent.
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