House Begins Debate on 2020 Appropriation Bill

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A cross section of members during plenary

Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

The House of Representatives has commenced debate on the general principles of the 2020 Appropriation Bill submitted to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday.

However, before the presentation of the bill for second reading, Hon. Kingsley Chinda, a lawmaker from Rivers State on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), raised a point of order that the 2020 budget was premature for debate and should be stepped down as it does not contain the necessary details.

Despite citing relevant House rules which allow debate on a budget only when it is accompanied by details and referring to the speech by the president before a joint session of the National Assembly, Chinda was ruled out of order by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila.

Also, House Majority Leader, Alhassan Doguwa presented the Bill titled: “A Bill for an Act to authorise the issue from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation the total sum of N10,330,416,607,347 only for debate.

However, members in their various debates commended Buhari for the early presentation of the budget and assured to work for its early passage while calling for increment in the areas of infrastructure, job creation and security.

Meanwhile, the House has urged the federal government to increase the annual budgetary allocations to the health sector from 5 to 15 per cent in order to curb unnecessary death caused by the failing health system.

It also mandated the committees on Health institutions and health care services to ensure compliance.

The decision of the House followed a motion moved by Hon. Ntufam Mbora and adopted at the plenary yesterday presided over by the Speaker of the House, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.