Udora Orizu in Abuja
The federal government yesterday requested the House of Representatives to extend the timeline for the implementation of capital projects in the 2020 budget.
The request was contained in a letter by the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, addressed to the House, and was read at the plenary by Majority leader, Hon. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa.
Doguwa said the minister was specifically requesting for the amendment of the expiration clause of the 2020 appropriation repeal and reenactment Act.
According to him, ‘’The minister said there was huge pressure for agencies of government to meet their responsibilities. She’s calling on the National Assembly to extend the timeline of implementation for capital projects only through the use of legislative tools to do what is right so that Nigerians can benefit from funds available after the expiration of the timeline of the budget.”
Doguwa pleaded with members to approve the plea, assuring it was not going to affect the resolve of the House to maintain the January to December budget cycle.
Responding, Speaker of the House, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, reasoned that the Covid-19 was not envisaged and as such, it was necessary to consider and approve the request for the benefits of Nigerians.
He, however, pointed out that the proposed amendment of the 2020 appropriation Act cannot be done by way of a motion but through an amendment Bill.
He directed that the request be scheduled for the next legislative sitting, (Wednesday), adding that it would be given expeditious passage.
Meanwhile, the House at plenary also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to as a matter of urgency conduct election in the House of Assembly for Aniocha South 1 of Delta state.
The motion for the election was moved by the minority leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu.
Moving the motion, Elumelu called on INEC to as a matter of urgency see to the conduct of the needed election for the residents of Aniocha 1 to enjoy due representation in the state House of Assembly level.
He said the lingering issue is a gross infringement on the rights of citizens of the region.
The motion earlier seconded by his deputy, Hon. Toby Okechukwu was voted on and adopted by the House.