2018 Budget to Be Passed May 16, Says Senate

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Shehu Sani appeals for confirmation of CBN board

Damilola Oyedele in Abuja

The Senate has said the report of the N8.612 trillion appropriation bill will be considered and passed next week May 16, 2018, six months after it was laid by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Senate spokesman, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, while speaking during a press briefing wednesday, said the Committee on Appropriation was working to ensure the budget is laid next Tuesday.

“It was supposed to be laid this week, but they are putting finishing touches. They are being careful so as not to make mistakes. The report would be laid Tuesday and by Wednesday, we will approve it.

“The good next thing is that it is the harmonised version (that would be laid). So whatever is laid in the Senate would be laid in the House of Representatives, and it would be considered and passed same time,” Abdullahi said.
Also, Senator Shehu Sani has appealed to the upper legislative chamber to make a concession from its resolution to suspend all confirmation processes, and confirm the members of the governing board of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Raising a point of personal explanation at the plenary wednesday, Sani said the apex bank is currently limited in its ability to fully play its roles of managing the economy, due to the lack of a board.

“The CBN is the most important economic fulcrum of our economy. I can recall that we collectively took a position in suspending the screening of nominees, but I appeal that we look at the issue of the CBN critically in the sense that we can appreciate the fact that they have made some progress in terms of stabilising the economy, the naira and the appreciation of our foreign reserve,” he said.

Sani argued that the work of the Senate would be easier if the CBN has a board which would perform institutional oversight and ensure the apex bank is run transparently.

“I appeal that the Senate should look into the need to screen and approve the board of this bank in the interest of our economy, so that we can have a proper documentation and knowledge of what is going on within the bank. Our point has been made and it is now the time to hold the executive to account with a board for which we can be able to work together with,” he added.

Presiding, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said the appeal would be looked into.

“We have taken note of your comments and we will look into it,” Saraki said.