Deji Elumoye in Abuja
The National Assembly will resume plenary today after a 25- day adjournment.
The lawmakers had on December 20, 2018 adjourned plenary till January 16 a day after receiving the N8.8 Trillion 2019 budget from President Muhammadu Buhari.
Sources close to the lawmakers told THISDAY that the highlight of today’s plenary will be the formal presentation of the 2019 Appropriation Bill to both chambers of the National Assembly by Senator Danjuma Goje (APC Gombe) and Hon. Mustapha Bala (APC Kano), Chairmen of Senate and House Committee on Appropriations, respectively.
A ranking Senator who would not want to be named, told our reporter that once the Appropriation Bill is presented before the lawmakers, it will be referred to the relevant committees of both the Senate and House of Representatives to work on.
That in essence means the Bill will pass the first reading today before being committed to second reading that will take the form of committee work during which time ministers and heads of parastatals will be expected to appear before the relevant committees to defend the budgetary allocations to their ministries and agencies.
With election about a month away, Senators and House members who got the re-election ticket of their respective parties may not be at plenary today because there are indications that some of them are still busy campaigning in their respective senatorial districts and federal constituencies.
This was confirmed by some of the legislative aides of the affected lawmakers who told THISDAY that their principals are still busy in their constituencies and may not be around for today’s plenary.
President Buhari had on December 19, 2018 presented the 2019 budget estimate of N8.83 trillion to the National Assembly with N305 billion being earmarked for fuel subsidy during the fiscal year.
The president who presented the budget proposal to the 469 members of the National Assembly at the House of Representatives Chambers said government would continue to subsidise fuel price so as to reduce the burden on the citizenry.