Twenty-two out of 69 standing committees of the Senate have failed to complete and submit the 2021 budget reports of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) under their supervision to the Appropriation Committee. The President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, made this disclosure yesterday, while addressing the Senate in plenary, after the apex legislative Assembly resumed sitting from its five-week working recess.
The Senate had suspended plenary on October 20, to enable the sub-committees of the Appropriation Committee, also known as standing committees, to hold the 2021 budget defence sessions with the MDAs. Shortly before the Senate suspended plenary to work on the budget, the Chamber, through the Chairman of the Appropriation Committee, Senator Jibrin Barau, disclosed that the 2021 Appropriation Bill would be passed in December.
He noted that there would be a joint public hearing on the bill, to be conducted by both the Senate and the House of Representatives on the 9th and 10th of November. The lawmaker further explained that the various committees of the Senate were expected to harmonize their reports from 11th to 18th November and submit to the Appropriation Committee for onward harmonization with its counterpart in the House of Representatives.
Jibrin said that after harmonization, the Committee on Appropriation would then compile all the reports collated from the committees from 19th November to December 2, to be considered for passage in December. However, Lawan, yesterday, hinted that 22 committees were not able to beat the November 18 deadline, to submit their reports to the Appropriation Committee, noting that some of the committees had issues which were not their own making during the budget defence.
Following the information that 22 committees had not turned in their reports, it means that 47 committees have already submitted their reports to the Appropriation Committee. The President of the Senate, therefore, stated that the committees lagging behind in submitting their reports, would work till Friday this week, and present their work to the Appropriation Committee, which would present the collated reports to Senate in plenary next week.