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Senate bill wants President, Govs to submit budget in September

The Senate is currently considering a bill which seeks to amend the 1999 constitution with a view to mandating the President to submit the annual federal budget to the National Assembly latest by the end of September.

The proposed legislation tagged, SB 259, and sponsored by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Opeyemi Bamidele, has passed first reading on the floor of the red chamber.

The bill also mandates the governors to lay their annual state budgets before the state Houses of Assembly at least 90 days before the end of the year.

It is titled, “A bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to specify the period within which the President or governor of a state presents the Appropriation Bill before the National Assembly or House of Assembly, and for related matters, 2019.”

It seeks to alter Section 81 of the Constitution by amending subsection (1).

The new subsection will now read, “The President shall cause to be prepared and laid before each House of the National Assembly not later than 90 days to the end of a financial year, estimates of the revenues and expenditure of the Federation for the next financial year.”

The bill also added a new subsection 1A which reads, “The National Assembly shall pass the Appropriation Bill before the commencement of the next financial year.”

Apart from this, the bill also seeks to alter Section 121 to mandate governors to also lay the budget before the House of Assembly, 90 days to the end of each financial year.

It reads, “The governor shall cause to be prepared and laid before the House of Assembly, not later than 90 days to the end of a financial year, estimates of the revenues and expenditure of the state for the next financial year.”

It also states that the House of Assembly shall pass the Appropriation bill before the commencement of the next financial year.

PUNCH