The National Assembly has postponed the approval of this year’s budget until May 2018. This is contrary to expectations that the 2018 budget estimates of N8.612trn would be passed by April.
Chairman, House Committee on Appropriations, Mustapha Dawaki, made this known at the 2018 National Budget Hearing in Abuja yesterday. The hearing was jointly organised by the Senate and House Committees on Appropriation.
Dawaki explained that if the budget was not passed by April 24 as assured by the Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, then the N2.06trn 2017 capital budget would run till May 31.
“We are told that the office of the accountant general is expected to close the account as at March ending. So, we have written a letter yesterday, drawing his attention to the fact that the budget should be extended to May 31.’’
He said that contractors should continue working adding that budget account will not be closed until the budget is passed and assented to by the president until May 31, 201
President Muhammadu Buhari had, in his presentation of the 2018 appropriation bill to a joint session of the National Assembly on November 7, 2017, called for speedy passage of the budget to allow for implementation of the January to December budget cycle.
Both legislative chambers had however blamed the delay in the approval of the bill to refusal of heads of ministries, departments and agencies to come forward and defend their respective budget proposals