Omission of N186bn stalls Senate consideration of revised budget

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The consideration of the revised 2020 national budget was stalled on the floor or the Senate on Tuesday following the exclusion of the N186bn health sector component from the proposed fiscal document.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Barau Jibrin, had on resumption of plenary, drew the attention of his colleagues to the non-inclusion of the fund in the revised budget. The development invariably forced the Senate to step down the consideration of the N10.509trn revised 2020 budget forwarded to it for consideration by President Muhammadu Buhari, about two weeks ago.

The debate on the general principles of the fresh proposal was scheduled for today (Tuesday) since the same exercise had been carried out on the revised 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper, which has been passed, last week. The senators could not get copies of the report of the Appropriation Committee on Tuesday because of a major blunder committed by the Budget Office under the Presidency.

The Chairman of the Appropriation panel explained that the Budget Office failed to capture the entire N500bn intervention fund for COVID-19 in the revised bill.

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