Nigerian lawmakers have postponed passage of the 2023 budget till next week due to “problems” discovered in the budget.
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, announced this at the start of the plenary on Thursday.
He said the lawmakers cannot pass the budget because it “came with some problems” that were discovered by the National Assembly Committees on Appropriations.
“The Appropriations Bill came to the National Assembly with some problems and when our Committees on Appropriations in the Senate and House of Representatives started to reconcile the figures of what has been done and what was presented,”.
“The problems became obvious and not easy to deal with and the Committees had to start a process of cleaning up the bill. That process engaged the Executive because the problem came from them. They (committees) only concluded that yesterday,” he explained.
He did not state the kind of “problems” that were discovered in the budget.
Lawan simply informed his colleagues that the committee secretariat was not able to finish processing the report. And that they cannot present it “today or tomorrow… nor Monday and Tuesday because of the public holiday.”
“Consequently, we can only receive and consider the report on Wednesday 28th. Next week,” he said.
In October, President Muhammadu Buhari presented the budget estimate of N20.5 trillion for the 2023 fiscal year.
While Lawan boasted that the ninth Assembly had done so much to pass the previous appropriations before the end of the year, he hoped that it would remain one of their cherished legacies.
The Senate thereafter suspended the plenary to allow the relevant committees to continue the legislative work on the reports.
Lawmakers are expected to reconvene after Christmas to consider and pass the 2023 budget and other necessary reports.