By Abdulaziz Sani
The National Assembly finally passed the 2017 Appropriation Bill, following the presentation of the joint Committee on Appropriations and Finance report to the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The lawmakers therefore passed a total of N7.441 into law.
The budget was structured on 44.5 dollar per barrel oil benchmark on a production of 2.2 million barrels per day.
The chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Danjuma Goje highlighted that the figures presented by President Muhammadu Buhari in December, 2016.
“That Senate do consider the report of the Committee on Appropriations on the 2017 Appropriation Bill,” Mr Goje said.
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu appreciated the process, saying it was distinct from the past.
“This is the first time that copies of bills were made available with its details and I think there is a difference compared to the past ones,” he said.
“There were lot of consultation between the Legislature and Executive and even the public hearing where civil society organisations were involved made it possible for the consideration.
“We have moved from budget circle from January to May and hopefully we will move it to January so that budget proposal can be coming in December of every year.”
George Akume, however, decried that his Senatorial zone was not adequately captured in road construction, saying he will make sure that the 2018 budget address it.
Also commenting, Shehu Sani, expressed optimism that the budget would address socio-economic wellbeing of Nigerians.
After various contributions, the Senate retired to the committee of the whole to pass the budget.