‘We found problems in the figures’ — senate postpones passage of 2023 budget

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Senate President Ahmad Lawan says the national assembly is unable to pass the 2023 appropriation bill because of some “obvious problems” in the document.

 

Lawan said this on the floor of the senate on Thursday.

 

In October, President Muhammadu Buhari presented a sum of N20.5 trillion as the budget estimate for the 2023 fiscal year to a joint session of the national assembly.

 

In the same month, both chambers of the assembly passed the proposal for a second reading.

 

Lawan said the senate and House of Representatives committees on appropriations have since begun cleaning up the document.

 

“We are not able to receive the report of the committee (appropriations),” he said.

 

“The main reason for this is that the appropriations bill came to the national assembly with some problems and when our committees on appropriations of the senate and the house started to reconcile the figures and what was presented, the problems became very obvious.

 

 “Therefore, our committees had to start the process of cleaning up the bill first. That process, of course, also engaged the executive arm – because the bill came from there – and that was concluded yesterday.

 

“Our secretariat of our committees is not able to process the budget for us either today or tomorrow, not Saturday nor Sunday.”

 

The senate president said the national assembly would likely consider and pass the budget after the Christmas holidays next week.

 

BUDGET BREAKDOWN

 

In the 2023 budget proposed by the executive, N744,109, 468,797 was earmarked for statutory transfers while N6,557,597,611,797 was fixed for debt service.

 

The sum of N8,271,882,354,405 was put aside for recurrent (non-debt) expenditure while N4,934,352,745,705 was fixed for capital expenditure.

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