By EricJames Ochigbo
Abuja – The House of Representatives is determined to pass the 2020 Appropriation bill before the end of December, a member of the House, Mr Gudaji Kazaure (APC-Jigawa) has said.
Kazaure gave this assurance in an interview on the sidelines of the presentation of the N10.33 trillion 2020 budget by President Muhammadu Buhari to the joint session of the National Assembly on Tuesday in Abuja.
According to him, we shall pass the budget before December; we could have even approved it today if not for the fact that we have to criticise it.
He said that the 9th Assembly would not tolerate any form of delay from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) during budget defense.
Kazaure said that the legislature was ready to deal with any MDA that refuses to appear for budget defense.
He said that the National Assembly would critically look at the budget with the aim of reallocating unnecessary funds in the budget to education and health sectors.
Kazaure, however, expressed concern for the N2.8 trillion earmarked for debt services in the budget.
He said the amount allocated for debt service exceeded the amount earmarked for capital projects.
“We are serving debt for stolen money that is what touching my heart, money stolen during the previous administrations.
“We are supposed to stop borrowing, arrest those who have stolen from the government and get them to refund the money.
“Investigate all the projects embarked on from 1999 till date to determine where the money had gone to,” he said.
In a related development, the Special Assistant to the President on House of Representatives Matters, Mr Umar Yakubu, commended the legislators for the warm reception given to Mr President.
Yakubu said that the legislature and the executive were now enjoying a more cordial relationship.
He said that Buhari had presented a budget that would touch the lives of Nigerians as it was about consolidation with key investments in education, health and security issues.
Yakubu said that adequate attention was given to social investment programmes, which were already ongoing.
According to him, the lawmalers look forward to quick passage of the budget so as to return the country to the January to December financial circle.
On the funding of the budget, Yakubu said that with steady internally revenue generation and the oil benchmark, the budget would be easily funded.