Sunday Aborisade in Abuja
The Senate yesterday extended the implementation of the capital component of the 2022 budget from 31st March, 2023 to 30th June, 2023
The extension followed a lead debate by the senate leader, Senator Ibrahim Gobir (Sokoto East-Senate Leader) requesting the upper chamber for the amendment of the Appropriation act 2022.
Gobir, in his presentation said the bill sought to amend the 2022 Appropriation Act and 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Act to extend the implementation year from March 31 to June 30.
He pointed out that the National Assembly had extended the implementation of the 2022 appropriation Act from December 31, 2022, to March 31 ,2023.
This, he said was to allow full implementation of the budget, given the approval of supplementary budget approved in December 2022.
He said the extension had allowed Ministries Department and Agencies(MDAs) to use a large proportion of funds released to them.
He, however, said significant amounts of funds remained with MDAs and would require a further extension to be fully extended.
He said given the critical importance of some key projects nearing completion, request for further extension of the expiration clause in the Appropriation Act and the long title explanatory memorandum of the supplementary Appropriation Act was expedient.
This, Gobir said was to avoid compounding the problem of abandoned projects, given that some of the projects were not provided for in the 2023 budget.
Gobir, urged senators to support the bill to allow full utilisation of the capital releases to help reflate the economy
The lawmakers relaxed their standing rules to grant accelerated consideration and approval to enable it read the bill for the first, second and third time before its passage.
The Senate leader explained that the extension would enable the government to implement key projects in the capital component of the 2022 budget and allow for the completion of ongoing projects critical to the current administration.
He said, “You will recall that the National Assembly extended the implementation of the 2022 Appropriation Act from 31st December 2022 to 31st March,2023.
“This was to allow full implementation of the budget, especially in the light of the 2022 Supplementary budget approved in December 2022 the extension had allowed MDAs to utilise a large proportion of funds released to them.
“However, significant amounts of funds remain with MDAs and will require a further extension to be fully expended.
“Giving the critical importance of some key projects nearing completion, requesting a further extension of the expiration clause in the Appropriation (Amendment) Act, 2022 and the Long Title and Explanatory Memorandum of the Supplementary Appropriation Act is expedient to avoid compounding the problem of abandoned projects, given that some of the projects were not provided for in the 2023 Budget.”
In his contribution, Senator Gabriel Suswam (PDP, Benue Northeast), backed the request to extend the budget.
He, however added that it should be spelt out that the 2022 budget would run concurrently with the 2023 Appropriation Act
The senate later dissolved into, “Committee of Supply” to consider the report before it eventually approved and passed the request to extend the life of the 2022 budget till June 30th, 2023.