A Bill for an Act to amend the 2020 Appropriation Act has passed second reading in the House of Representatives.
The bill, which seeks to review the 2020 budget was presented by the Majority Leader of the house, Rep. Ado Doguwa (APC-Kano) at the plenary on Thursday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the 2020 budget had a total of N10,594,362,364,830.
However, the Executive proposed that the budget be reviewed to N10,509,654,033,053 reducing the budget by N84, 708,331,777.
Leading the debate, Doguwa said that the need to amend the 2020 budget was necessitated by the global effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said it had become necessary to review the parameters of the 2020 budget to meet the present day realities.
The Rep said that the review was solely in the interest of all Nigerians and the entire country following the current pandemic.
Mr Doguwa urged members to support the bill as it promises to assist the country to combat the effects of the pandemic.
He said that the bill should be referred to the relevant committees of the house to speedily work toward its quick passage.
Rep. Mohammed Shehu said that it was the fall of oil price in the international that had necessitated the budget review.
He said that the proposal sent by the Executive did not reflect the current reality on ground.
According to the rep, we as a country are in a time when we need to tighten our belt to survive the current challenges.
He said that the recurrent expenditure in the proposal does not reflect the difficult economic times.
The lawmaker said that the recurrent expenditure should be the first item on the budget that should be reduced.
According to him, as it stands, it means we want to continue with life as usual as we plan to borrow money.
He stressed that the house should do a thorough job by reducing the recurrent expenditure so as not to send Nigeria backwards.
Rep. Sada Gibia (APC-Katsina) called the attention of the house to provisions made for the excess crude account.
He said that the house must ensure that the amendment bill conforms with the provisions of the Constitution.
Rep. Taiwo Oluga also drew the attention of the house to the amount proposed for the edification sector.
She said that enough funds should be allocated to enable the country include e-learning in the curricula.
The lawmaker said that funds should be taken from allocations to the Ministry of Finance and put into education and agriculture.
In his ruling, the Deputy Speaker of the house, Rep. Ahmed Wase referred the bill to the relevant committees of the house for further legislative action.