by Opeoluwa Quadri
Contrary to the statement made by the Chairman of the Senate committee on appropriation that the budget would be passed before the expiration of the 2016 budget, the Senate has failed to pass the 2017 budget.
The Senate Appropriation committee and House of Representatives had planned to present their reports on Thursday, the presentation was listed on the Order Paper for the Plenary.
But the Majority Leader of the Senate, Senatyor Ahmad Lawan, announced that both chamber of the National Assembly were still harmonising the versions of the report.
He said, “I have also equally been informed that by the grace of God. Definitely, the budget 2017 will be laid on Tuesday. Having said this, Mr. President distinguished colleagues, I will move that we stand down this report to Tuesday, the next legislative day”.
The Chairman of the Senate committee, Danjuma Goje had earlier said thus “As far as the bill that was signed into law by Mr. President is concerned, there will be no mop up on 31st March 2017 since the validity period for the 2016 budget ends midnight May 5th, 2017,”
“If that is done, it will be a violation of the Act. We carefully created the clause that made provision for May 5, 2017. The act says that the 2016 budget will run for 12 months starting from the date the bill was assented to and it was assented to on May 6th 2016.
“I believe before that date the 2017 budget must have been passed. We don’t have to do any extension because we have taken care of that. Therefore, no anxiety, no mopping up of funds before 12 months period,” Goje said in March.
However, this may not necessarily lead to government shutdown as section 82 of the constitution empowers the President to withdraw from the Consolidated Revenue Fund to continue the functioning of government pending the time the 2017 budget is passed.