National Assembly fails to pass 2017 budget before expiration of 2016 budget

Nigerian Senate
Nigerian Senate

It has now emerged Nigeria’s 2017 budget proposal will be passed at least days after the expiration of the current 2016 budget, after the National Assembly failed to pass the 2017 appropriations bill today, Thursday, which is the last day the lawmakers have for business in the week.

By provision of the 2016 Appropriations Act, the 2016 budget expires on May 5, 2017, having been assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari on May 6, 2016.

The chairman of the Senate committee on appropriations, Danjuma Goje, had in March promised that the 2017 budget would be laid and passed before the expiration of the current budget.

“As far as the Bill that was signed into law by Mr. President is concerned, there will be no mop up on 31st March 2017 since the validity period for the 2016 budget ends midnight May 5th, 2017,” said Mr. Goje.

“If that is done, it will be a violation of the Act. We carefully created the clause that made provision for May 5, 2017. The Act says that the 2016 budget will run for 12 months starting from the date the bill was assented to and it was assented to on May 6th 2016.

“I believe before that date the 2017 budget must have been passed. We don’t have to do any extension because we have taken care of that. Therefore, no anxiety, no mopping up of funds before 12 months period,” the senator said in March.

Although presentation of the report on 2017 budget was included on the Senate’s Order Paper for Thursday, it was stepped down.

The Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, told the Senate the order could not be taken because members of the appropriations committee were meeting with their counterparts in the House of Representatives to “to cross the t’s and dot the i’s of the 2017 budgeting.”

He added that he been informed that “by the grace of God” the 2017 budget would be ready for passage next week Tuesday.

“Having said this, distinguished colleagues, I therefore move that we step down, we stand down the presentation of this report to Tuesday, the next legislative day,” Mr. Lawan moved.

The Senate spokesperson, Aliyu Abdullahi, told the Nigerian Television Authority, during an interview session monitored by PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday that the police raid on the residence of Mr. Goje could have implication for the readiness of the budget this week.

Mr. Goje had alleged the police carted away laptop and documents containing his committee’s work on the 2017 budget from his residence during the raid. The presidential adviser on the Senate, Ita Enang, later said “all items” taken from the senator’s residence had been returned by the police.

The 2017 budget proposal was presented before a joint session of the National Assembly last December.

Despite the non-passage of the budget on Thurday, it will not lead to a government shutdown when the 2016 budget ends on Friday. This is because Section 82 of the constitution allows the president to authorise withdrawal from the Consolidated Revenue Fund for the purpose of meeting expenditure necessary to carry on services of the government until the coming into operation of the new budget.

Speaking on this Eze Onyekpere, a fiscal policy expert and Lead Director of the Centre for Social Justice said the government is empowered by law to “continue to spend” after expiration of the current budget, until a new budget is approved.

The Director of Information at the Ministry of Finance, Salisu Danbatta, also expressed a similar view


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  • Sword of Damocles

    But Hameed Ali must Appear in UNIFORM crawling on his belly before (in Gen. Akinrinade’s wordS), this bunch of stinking(I do mean literally STINKIN’) CIRCUS CLOWNS… Yorubas will say oti ton(it has finished)

    • Daniel

      Do we have a president to sign a budget into law?

      • amir

        So that’s the best thing your brain could conjecture. Do you know the implications of not having a budget?

        • Daniel

          If the budget is passed, who will sign it into law before spending begins?

  • Gerald Okoduwa

    This is what you get when a President doesn’t care who becomes his Senate President. Criminals and saboteurs will hijack the system for personal gains. Buhari must apologize to the patriotic Nigerians that voted for him for that tactical error.

    • Daniel

      Where is the president to sign even a passed budget into law?

      First things first: we want to see the president.

      And be guided that party politics has limits when it comes to separation of powers.

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    NIgeria senate chambers, led by Dr Bukola Saraki, is full of selfish law-makers whose passion is to self-enriched themselves at the expense of average poor Nigerians.This is May 04,2017 still 2017 annual budget is still floating yet to be passed by the corrupt-ridden, greedy elements in the senate.When 2017 annual budget is not yet approved and president Muhammadu Buhari, submitted the 2017 annual budget since November,2016.Then how would the FGN implement the 2017 annual budget at almost middle of the 2017 annual year? The corrupt-ridden and unscrupulous senators, are expecting president Muhammadu Buhari, to bribes them before they pass the annual budget.

    • Daniel

      Who will sign the budge into law when passed?

      You should be more concerned about the aberrations in the so-called Buhari government of CHANGE turned CHAINS.

      How can you have an incapacitated president and a castrated VP?

      The least Saraki should do now is to constitute a panel to determine the health status of the president.

      Otherwise, impeachment proceedings should commence.

      Buhari himself wanted Yardua impeached under this same circumstance.

      Remember, Nigeria does not run a monarchy.

      • Peter_Edo

        e clear say dem dey pay you… weh don sa!

  • Daniel

    We do no want the budget passed yet.

    Who will sign it into law? Certainly not the president missing in action.

    And should that budget be signed without us first knowing the health status of the preside, the cabal will do whatever they wish with the treasury.

    We need to know whois in charge of Nigeria.

  • Eyo

    These guys are bunch of no good. Since December up till now, dem never still pass budget,, what a useless and incompetent senate

  • sunny

    Do you guys also know that senate padded their constituency budget with another #30billion?Nass budget for 2017 was ₦120.They just added ₦30b to make it ₦150b.

  • St. Turner

    Let the president write his name in “Gold” by ceasing this opportunity to demonstrate the “I CAN SPIRIT ” and tender his resignation to the National Assembly due to his ill health. Let it be on record that a seating president from Africa can relinquish power willingly.