Sunday Aborisade, Abuja
THE President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said on Tuesday that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, will submit the 2021 budget estimates to the National Assembly next week.
Lawan has therefore appealed to the senators to embark on necessary oversight functions on the federal ministries, departments and agencies to assess the performance of the revised 2021 budget.
He stated this in his speech while welcoming his colleagues from an eight-week recess.
The Senate President said the lawmakers would devote the month of October for budget defence while November would be for the internal processing of the document.
He said, “I am aware that the President will submit the 2021 budget estimates to us next week.”
Lawan on Tuesday also read a letter from the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, (retd.), seeking the National Assembly’s approval for a N148.1bn payment to Ondo, Rivers, Cross-River, Osun and Bayelsa State.
Buhari, in his letter, said the amount was for the reimbursement of the federal roads projects executed in the affected states.
The breakdown of the money showed that Rivers would get N78.9bn, Bayelsa (N38.4bn), Cross River (N18.3bn), Ondo (N7.8bn), and Osun (N4.5bn)
Lawan tasks senators on oversight
Meanwhile, Lawan in his welcome speech encouraged his colleagues to carry out necessary oversight functions to ensure that the revised 2020 budget was properly implemented.
Lawan noted that the Senate needed to pay particular attention to the implementation of the Federal Government Economic Sustainability Plan.
He described the strategic plan as an essential means of revamping the economy by providing interventions in the mass agricultural programme, infrastructure, mass housing programme, investments in healthcare infrastructure, among others.
Lawan noted that the nation was confronted with over $14bn revenue gap due to its unwholesome overdependence on oil.
He said the Senate would provide one month window for budget defence by the MDAs.