By Adedayo Akinwale
The Spokesperson of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ben Kalu, has said that the House will suspend plenary in order to consider the 2021 budget and pass it by December.
Kalu stated this while briefing journalists after the presentation of 2021 appropriation bill by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday.
He said the House was committed to its promise to sustain the current budget circle of January to December.
Kalu stated: “We made a commitment that it was not going to be a one-off victory for the nation, that it was going to be sustained over time, until it becomes a culture. This we have seen the executive committing to it by following up with the presentation of their budget estimate which they did today, because we need to have something to work with. We might make the promise that we are going to stay within January to December calendar, but if the budget is not presented on time, it would truncate the process of meeting up with this particular projection in our calendar.
“So, as a House, we are happy that this objective by our legislative calendar is being complied with by the executive arm of government and that is the collaboration we are talking about. That we set goals and we come together through an atmosphere of collaboration to make sure that it is achieved.
“So we are promising Nigerians that we are suspending plenary any moment from now, just for us to look at the budget. Another thing that is very hot on the front burner is the PIB. There have been some news flying around that we are suspending it till first quarter of next year, that is not the position from the legislative arm.”
Kalu however dismissed the fear that the Finance Bill that the President promised to forward to the National Assembly, adding it will not lead to another round of tax increase as witnessed last year.