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Monday, May 20, 2024

Budget: “Senators Disappointed At Flagrant Passage of Three Appropriation Acts In One Fiscal Year”



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In what looks like a jamboree, the National Assembly has passed three (3) Appropriation Bills in one fiscal year, and is set to pass the fourth (4th) Supplementary Appropriation Bill in the Federal Ministry of Transportation, and the 2024 Appropriation Act hasn’t been implemented yet. These Acts run simultaneously all in one swoop which is a call for anarchy and total economic policy implementation confusion. This is an utter flagrant disregard for the rule of law.

Akin who showed his displeasure via an open letter he wrote to National Assembly, vehemently frowned at the way 10th Senate, led by Senator Godswill Akpabio has taken things in such a lackadaisical manner where senators’ voices are taken for granted.

“Questions aren’t asked on pertinent issues as serious as Appropriation Acts. This further portrays the 10th Senate as a “rubber stamp” , where everything the Executive brings is expediently accented hook, line and sinker without any form of scrutiny.” he said.

Furthermore, Akin said; “Tinubu shouldn’t allow people put his government under pressure of trying to jam-pack 4 Appropriation Acts in one (1) year. The consequences will be too dire on economy. We are not rushing to anywhere. Tinubu should allow these things to run in a manner that seems right within the time and jurisdiction that the law can permit.”

“Whenever I remember that Nigeria, under the leadership of President Tinubu is running three Appropriation Acts and the fourth one is to be added via the Ministry of Transportation and they are all running concurrently, my Heart Blood Pressure rises to an astronomical level. Senators have complained to high heavens, on top of their voices, both on camera and in closed sessions, yet nothing tangible comes out their complaints. Their voices aren’t heard, rather they are gagged from airing their disappointments with the way the 10th Senate is being run by Senator Akpabio.”, Akin lamented.

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You will recall, on Wednesday, 20th March, 2024, the Senate Leader, Senator Bamidele, Michael Opeyemi (Ekiti Central) led a debate on the 2023 Appropriation Act and 2023 Supplementary Appropriation Act(Amendment) Bill, 2024 (SB. 405 & 406) to extend the implementation year of the Appropriation Act, 2023 from the 31st March, 2024 to 30th June, 2024.

Bamidele noted that prior Appropriation Acts in the recent past were passed mid-year and extended to the following year. These extensions were covered in the Appropriation Act by clause along these lines, “in line with the provisions of section 318 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, this Act runs for a period of 12 months, starting from the date it comes into effect.” he stated.

On the contrary, the 2023 Appropriation Act Clause 12 states that “in line with the provisions of Section 318 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, this Act runs for a period of 12 months, starting from the 1st day of January to 31st day of December, 2023.

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In view of the critical importance of some key projects nearing completion, and to allow the continued implementation of the recurrent components of the Budget, Sen. Bamidele noted that it is expedient to grant extension of the expiration clause to avoid compounding the problems of abandoned projects given that some of the projects were not provided for in the 2024 Budget hence the need to extend the implementation year from 31st March, 2024 to 30th June, 2024 of both acts.

“80% of Senators aren’t happy with these leadership styles of this nonchalant attitude concerning the affairs of the nation. Most of them (senators) have spoken to me behind the camera of their utter disagreement with the Akpabio led Administration, which signs whatever the Executive brings to the Senate without asking questions or seeking opinions of his fellow senators.” Akin opined.

Akin advised President Tinubu to make sure the economy doesn’t slip into the red zone under his watch via the way the Appropriation Acts are being implemented in a fire brigade manner.

Akin prayed the Senate leadership, led by Akpabio will turn a new leaf and represent in the spirit and letter on why their various constituents sent them to the Hallowed Red Chamber to speak on their behalf.

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