The Senate on Wednesday, March 13, 2019 began debate on the general principles of the 2019 Appropriation Bill laid before the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari on the 19th of December, 2018. The Bill is sponsored by the Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan (Yobe North).
Leading the debate, Sen. Lawan asserted that “A Bill for an Act to authorize the issuance from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation the total sum of N8, 826, 636, 578, 915 (Eight Trillion, Eight Hundred and Twenty Six Billion, Six Hundred and Thirty Six Million, Five Hundred and Seventy Eight Thousand, Nine Hundred and Fifteen Naira, only of which N492, 360, 342, 965 (Four Hundred and Ninety Two Billion, Three Hundred and Sixty Million, Three Hundred and Forty Two Thousand, Nine Hundred and Sixty Five Naira, only is for Statutory Transfers, N2, 264, 014, 113, 092 (Two Trillion, Two Hundred and Sixty Four Billion, Fourteen Million, One Hundred and Thirteen Thousand and Ninety Two Naira, only is for Debt Service, N4, 038, 557, 664, 767 (Four Trillion, Thirty Eight Billion, Five Hundred and Fifty Seven Million, Six Hundred and Sixty Four Thousand, Seven Hundred and Sixty Seven Naira, only is for Recurrent (Non-Debt) Expenditure, while the sum of N2, 031, 754, 458, 902 (Two Trillion, Thirty One Billion, Seven Hundred and Fifty Four Million, Four Hundred and Fifty Eight Thousand, Nine Hundred and Two Naira, Only is for contribution to the Development Fund for Capital Expenditure for the Year ending on 31st day of December, 2019”.
Accordingly, the following Senators made their submission on the General Principles of the 2019 Appropriation Bill: Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, Abdullahi Gumel, Barau Jibrin, Andrew Uchendu, Muhammed Ali Ndume, Bala Ibn Na’Allah, Gbenga Ashafa, Albert Akpan, Bernabas Gemade, Adamu Aliero, Shehu Sani and Fatimah Raji-Rasaki.
Continuation of debate on the 2019 Appropriation Bill has been deferred to Tuesday, March 19, 2019 when it would be concluded and referred to the Committees for further legislative action according to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who presided over the session.
Meanwhile, the Red Chamber has acknowledged the receipt of three Executive Communications from President Muhammadu Buhari on the following:
1) President Buhari informed the Senate of his decision to decline assent to the National Oil Spill Detection, Response and Protection Agency (NOSDRA) Bill, 2019.
2) The President present to the Senate for consideration and passage the 2019 – 2012 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF). The request has been referred to the Senate Committee on Finance to report back on Wednesday, March 20, 2019.
3) Forwarding of nominations of Mr. Linus Mba and 11 others to the Senate for screening and confirmation into the Board of Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
Meanwhile, Sen. Isaac Alfa was sworn in to replace Sen. Atai Aidoku, following a Supreme Court Judgment in his favour. He represents Kogi East Senatorial District on the platform of Peoples Democratic (PDP).
Also, the Senate has announced the suspension of its Thursday, March 14, 2019 Plenary Session to allow its members receive their Certificate of Return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The Electoral Umpire has scheduled Thursday, March 14, 2019 for the issuance of the Certificates to Members Elect into the two Chambers of the National Assembly. The event will hold at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.