By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja （Sundiata Post）- Senate on Tuesday passed the Second Reading of the 2018 Appropriation Bill with the Senate President, Bukola Saraki warning the Minister to strictly comply to the date in the letter of invitation for budget defence.
Saraki gave the directive in a statement signed by the Media Adviser to the Senate President, Onemola Oluwole sent to Sundiata Post.
The Bill has been forwarded to the Committee on Appropriations and its various sub-committees for further consideration and budget defence by the various ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government.
Speaking on the passage of the Second Reading of the Budget, the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki said: “We know that the timetable is very tight. We will be suspending plenary for us to be able to start the defense of this budget. Committee Chairmen and Members should please ensure that we keep to this timetable.
“Let me respond with a general note of warning to all Heads of MDAs to ensure that they strictly respect the letters of invitation and the timetable. This is not time for excuses for Ministers or Heads of parastatals to be traveling and not be able to attend their budget defense.
“We do not have the time. This is a very short timeframe, therefore, I expect all MDAs to be able to respect our invitation and be there on time so that the Committees can wrap up and be able to present their reports by the time we come back on Tuesday, the 19th of December,” he said.
The President of the Senate also announced that the Senate will be having a public hearing on the budget.
“Distinguished Colleagues, let me also thank you for what you have contributed to this process. I know that we have a lot of work ahead of us.
“There will be a Public hearing on the Budget. We are looking at Monday, the 11th of December, however, in the next few days, an announcement will be made – we expect attendance by all Senators.”