The Senate on Thursday, October 5, 2017 commenced the consideration of an Executive Communication from President Muhammadu Buhari on the virement of funds from various budget lines to fund Federal Government priority projects and programmes. The Report on the virement was presented by the Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan. The Chamber resolved into the Committee of Supply to consider the report. Accordingly, Senate resolved that the Executive should exercise caution on the issue considering the low implementation of the 2017 budget.
Similarly, the Senate Joint Committee on Appropriation and Finance led by Sen. Danjuma Goje (Gombe Central) and Sen. John Enoh (Cross River Central) has presented the Report of 2017 Budget Implementation (2017 Budget Performance) before the Senate for consideration. The Chamber resolved into the Committee of Supply to consider the report. Accordingly, the Chamber adopted the eight recommendations of the Committee among which were:
i) The Senate warns the Federal Government not to engage in selective implementation of the 2017 Budget.
ii) The Executive arm of government must ensure 50% implementation of the 2017 Budget.
iii) Government should fully exploit and utilized Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) generated by the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in the implementation of the 2017 Budget.
iv) The Executive should be encouraged to block all revenue leakages.
v) The Executive should fast track the request of subsequent external borrowing plan.
Also, the Upper Legislative Chamber has equally commenced the consideration of 2017 Budget Report of Corporations and Agencies of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Reports were presented by the various Senate Standing Committees supervising related Corporations and Agencies.
In fact, the Committees on Finance, Health and Environment presented the Report of their Agencies but all Reports along with those of other Committees were referred back to the Senate Committees to include the 2016 approved Budget estimates along with its overall performance and then the 2017 Budget estimates which the Senate President, Bukola Saraki asserted would allow for comparative analysis both the previous and current budget indices.
Nevertheless, the Red Chamber has commenced consideration of the Report of Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters on the “Proceed of Crimes Bill, 2017” (S.B. 376), sponsored by Sen. David Umaru (Niger East). Accordingly, the Chamber resolved into the Committee of the Whole where clauses 1 – 8 were considered and approved as recommended or amended before it was deferred to another legislative date.