Lawan warns Ministries to defend 2021 budget before Nov or face consequences

Lawan warns Ministries to defend 2021 budget before Nov or face consequences

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan on Friday, warned Federal Ministries of the consequences of not defending their 2021 budgets by the first week of November.

Lawan explained that any ministry that failed to defend its 2021 budget should forget about coming to the National Assembly for budget defense.

He stated this in a series of posts on his Twitter handle, @DrAhmadLawan, on Friday.

According to Lawan, the Senate would from Tuesday next week commence defense of the 2021 budget estimates by Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDA’s) of government; and therefore would suspend plenary for two weeks.

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He, meanwhile, noted that before the suspension of the plenary, “we’ll give consideration to the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to enable it to pass second reading; and be referred to the relevant committees for legislative work, just the way we have done to the budget today.

“The Senate’s deadline for budget Defence would not exceed the first week of November. Therefore, all Ministers and Heads of Agencies should avail themselves of the window provided for their respective budget defense; particularly in line with President Buhari’s directive.

“Last year, President Muhammadu Buhari, gave specific orders that no Minister or Chief Executive should travel out of the country or anywhere else; without defending the budget of his or her Ministry or Agency.

“I’m sure that directive has remained in the clouds, in fact, the President even repeated a more serious one in his address to us at the retreat; that all Ministers and Heads of Agencies of government must come to defend the budget in person.

“So, we are waiting for them next week. Unlike last year, we would have a programme; which will take the remaining part of October and the first week of November.

“This will be the only window, and nobody should assume that after this period; a minister or any head of the agency will come to the National Assembly to defend any budget.

“If any Ministry is not able to defend its budget by the first week of November; then that Ministry should forget about coming to the National Assembly for budget defense.

“The National Assembly will perform its constitutional function of working on the budget proposal; in the best interest of our people,” he said.

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