Senate President Ahmed Lawan has said the delay by President Muhammadu Buhari in submitting the ministerial list for screening will not prevent the National Assembly from giving next year’s Appropriation Bill expeditious passage.
The Senate President noted that returning the national budget’s fiscal cycle from January to December would be possible, if the proposal gets to the National Assembly by September.
Lawan addressed State House correspondents yesterday after a meeting with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Senate President was accompanied by House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila.
He said: “I think there is nothing to worry us deeply. The budget itself is normally prepared by civil servants, the permanent secretaries superintend it and the directors will work on it most of the time.
“I believe that we are still on course and I believe the Executive and the Legislature are on the same page on this. We desire and are prepared and determined to pass the budget by the first and second week of December, by the grace of God, provided it is presented to us end of September.”
Asked about his discussions with the President, Lawan said they spoke about things that would “ensure that the people of Nigeria are better protected, the economy of Nigeria performs better to the inclusion of everyone in the country”.
Governance, he said, is generally set to achieve the set targets of providing security and welfare for the people.
The Senate President promised that the National Assembly would collaborate and cooperate with the Executive arm of government to use better approaches, new paradigm to improve the current situations in the country.
Asked if they discussed the National Assembly security summit proposal with the President, he said: “No, we haven’t discussed that. But you know that at the end of the day, we are going to have a security summit that will be a collaboration between the two arms of government.
“And this is essential because while we provide the legislative intervention that is required, the Executive arm of government is the one that implements. So, we have to work together, and we will do that.”