2022 budget: Senate Appropriation Committee swings into action

 By Haruna Salami

Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriations, Senator Jibrin Barau has expressed the determination of follow due process and work assiduously to ensure early passage.

Barau stated this Thursday after the inaugural meeting of Committee.

 It will be recalled that the  bill was referred to the Committee on Appropriations Wednesday after discussing the general principles of the bill for two days.

Briefing journalists after the inaugural meeting, Barau disclosed that the meeting was on how to move forward with the processing of the bill.

“We had a very robust and intensive meeting on how to get the process completed within the timetable.

“We are determined as ever to make sure we get everything done before December and hopefully the bill will be assented to by Mr. President so that we can maintain the January-December budget circle, which started at the beginning of the second term of this administration.

On whether Nigerians should expect anything new in the 2022 budget, Barau said the Nigerian democracy is gaining more experience year in year out in legislative processes. This means we will do better. We going to improve on what we did before in terns of diligence that is being applied in terms of processes of appropriation bills since the inception of democracy in 1999 till date.

On public outcry as regards debt servicing, Barau said the general principles of the budget has been discussed extensively during the second reading of the bill, adding that the Committee will go into nitty gritty of the budget now. He did not want to elaborate, so that he will not “put the cart before the horse”  since that will not be fair as a chairman of the committee. I should allow the sub committees to do their work. We have Committee on Finance, Local and Foreign Debts and so many committees that are saddled with looking at the issues.

He assured Nigerians that there will be public hearing on the Appropriation Bill as “it is a very good arrangement where people come to ventilate their views about the budget. The Senate President is determined and has asked me to prepare to make sure we hold it this yea, which we couldn’t do last year due to Covid-19 pandemic.