June 12, 2024

The Senate has extended the implementation of the capital component of the 2022 budget from March 31 to June 30, 2023.

The extension followed a request by President Muhammadu Buhari for the Senate to amend the time for implementation of the capital component of the 2022 Appropriation Act moved at plenary by the Senate Leader, Senator Ibrahim Gobir (APC – Sokoto East).

The Chamber suspended relevant standing rules to enable it to read the Bill for the first, second, and third time.

Gobir explained that the extension will enable the government to implement key projects in the capital component of the 2022 budget and allow for the completion of ongoing projects critical to the current administration.

According to him “you will recall that the National Assembly extended the implementation of the 2022 Appropriation Act from 31st December 2022 to 31st March 2023.

“This was to allow full implementation of the budget, especially in the light of the 2022 Supplementary Budget approved in December 2022.

“The extension had allowed MDAs to utilize a large proportion of funds released to them.

“However, significant amounts of funds remain with MDAs and will require a further extension to be fully expended.

“Given the critical importance of some key projects nearing completion, requesting a further extension of the expiration clause in the Appropriation (Amendment) Act, 2022 and the Long Title and Explanatory Memorandum of the Supplementary Appropriation Act is expedient to avoid compounding the problem of abandoned projects, given that some of the projects were not provided for in the 2023 Budget”.

 Senator Gabriel Suswam (PDP, Benue Northeast) supported the request to extend the budget.

Suswam however added that the extension should be spelt out that the 2022 budget will run concurrently with the 2023 Appropriation Act.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan said: “The issue you raised is not that very serious but maybe for whatever it is because it is simply over legislation.

“What the Executive is asking is to extend the life span of the implementation of the 2022 budget, and that does not in any way affects the implementation of the 2023 Budget. That is my understanding.

“If we feel that something outward could happen and we need this as a set guide then we can do that but I don’t think it is necessary.

“I want to thank you my Distinguished Colleagues for approving the amendment sought by the Executive arm of government.

“We have a limited number of months left. Time is of the essence; we must ensure that we implement all three Budgets now.

“These are supposed to go on pari-passu and we wish that there would be 100 per cent implementation of the 2022 Appropriation Act and the Supplementary as well,” Lawan said.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *