December 1, 2020

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NASS to pass 2021 budget in December — Lawan

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The president of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, says the National Assembly will pass the 2021 budget of N13. 08 trillion by the second week of December.

Mr Lawan made this known while declaring open a retreat for members of National Assembly Management and National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) in Abuja on Friday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Senate had in October adjourned plenary for budget defence by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

“We are working to pass the 2021 budget by the second week of December and we are working very assiduously, we will ensure there is every possible scrutiny of the budget presented by the executive arm of government.

“So far, we achieved that in (the) 2020 budget. We believe that we did the right thing, we promised Nigerians we will do that and it is going to be part of our legacy in the 9th National Assembly,” Mr Lawan said.

The president of the Senate said that other critical areas that will be considered when the Upper Chamber resume on November 24, was the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

“The PIB which is one of the most essential legislations to have in this country, we intend to pass it before the end of the second quarter of 2021.

“And then again, we will take our time because this is a very delicate and sensitive piece of legislation.

“We will ensure what comes out of the National Assembly in the PIB is a product of legislation that will ensure that Nigeria earns its revenues from the oil and gas, as it should.

“And of course, also, we will support our business people, the oil companies that are investing, and in fact retain and encourage new ones to invest in Nigeria,” he said.

Mr Lawan added: “So it has to be a win situation, win for all of us. We will not be selfish as a country, trying to take everything; no, oil is like water now. Almost every country now has oil.

“So, if you don’t provide a competitive environment, the oil companies will have no difficulty relocating to other countries.

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“So, we will ensure that we have a competitive environment for business and for investments.”

He said that the two committees on Constitution amendment at the Senate and House of Representatives were already working behind the scene to ensure that the amendment was done in 2021.

“As soon as we pass the budget, the Constitution amendment activities will start in earnest.

“We believe that we should pass our amendments within 2021,” he said.

Mr Lawan added that the amendment of the Electoral Act will also be done within 2021 in good time to prevent unnecessary distractions.


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