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Buhari: We’ll Give Budget Serious Consideration

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 The lawmaker representing Oyo North senatorial district, Sen. AbdulFatai Buhari, has said that a serious consideration would be given to the budget upon resumption after elections in March.

This is coming as the National Assembly members prepare to resume from their Yuletide break on Wednesday.

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According to Sunday Punch. there are indications that only 33 senators will be available to work on the federal budget of N8.83tn for the 2019 fiscal year presented by President Muhammadu Buhari on December 19, 2018.

It was learnt on Saturday that while 74 senators, who secured their parties’ tickets to contest this year’s general elections would relocate to their various constituencies to prepare for the polls, 33 senators, who lost their bid to return to the red chamber, would stay back to treat the budget.

The National Assembly members cannot resume on Tuesday, January 15, because of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebrations in which the two presiding officers of the National Assembly, Bukola Saraki (Senate president) and Yakubu Dogara (Speaker of the House of Representatives), are expected to be actively involved.

The federal parliamentarians are expected to adjourn plenary after five sittings. Our correspondent gathered that they would hold a plenary on Wednesday, January 16, and Thursday, January 17, before adjourning till Tuesday, January 22.

While some are contesting the governorship election in their various states, only the 33 members, who lost their return bid, according to sources close to the Senate leadership, will stay back to work on the budget.

A principal officer of the Senate told SUNDAY PUNCH on condition of anonymity that his colleagues, who would not be vying for re-election, would take charge of the budget defence sessions with the ministries, departments and agencies of government.

Buhari, a former member of the House of Representatives, who isa member of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, explained that “We would come back immediately after the elections and give it (budget) a serious consideration. Members of the Appropriation may have to do a rigorous work to achieve speedy passage of the bill.

“What I can guarantee is that we would be able to conclude discussions on the general principles between the period of our resumption and the elections,” he added.

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