N’Assembly reconvenes Friday, to pass budget Dec 30

The Senate Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele, has revealed that the National Assembly will pass the 2024 Appropriation Bill on December 30 to sustain the January-December budget cycle.

He disclosed at a session with journalists in Iyin-Ekiti, Ekiti State on Monday, saying all federal lawmakers would have to cut short their holidays to ensure the speedy passage of the 2024 Appropriation Bill.

He said, “To ensure the passage of the budget,  we abridged time to make all ministries, departments and agencies appear before the joint sitting of all the relevant committees of both the Senate and House of Representatives.

“This has already reduced the time for the budget defence process by half rather than appearing before the Senate first and House of Representatives later. The resolution has also removed the need for harmonisation. In essence, we have been able to save time.

“We have also been sitting beyond our regular sitting days. We have sat on Saturdays. We may even sit on Sunday as we are approaching another year. We only gave ourselves three days to go home and celebrate Christmas.

“We are reconvening on December 29. Our hope and determination is to pass by December 30. On January 1, 2024, Mr President will have the 2024 Appropriation Bill on his desk for assent so that its implementation can take off in earnest.”

Meanwhile, Bamidele expressed concerns about the activities of economic saboteurs who were doing everything to keep exchange rates high against the naira or trying to make the naira unavailable to the people who kept their money in banks.

According to him, the Federal Government “will, from next year, go after economic saboteurs who are making life difficult and unbearable for Nigerians.”

“The Federal Government will charge, prosecute and punish them for their acts of economic sabotage.

 “All these will take place next year. In the long run, those who mopped up the naira and dollars from the markets will face the consequences of their actions. Those who mopped up the dollars to keep commodity prices high will not escape justice.

“Those who are speculating are also on the watch list of the Federal Government. At some point, the Federal Government will have to go after them,” Bamidele said.

(Punch)

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