In a press briefing held in Iyin-Ekiti, Ekiti State, on Monday, Senate Leader Opeyemi Bamidele revealed the National Assembly’s commitment to passing the 2024 Appropriation Bill on December 30. This move aims to sustain the January-December budget cycle, an imperative for efficient fiscal planning.
Bamidele underscored the urgency for federal lawmakers to truncate their holiday period, streamlining efforts for the swift passage of the budget. He explained, “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.”
The Senate Leader highlighted the expedited nature of the budget defense process, noting that a joint appearance before both houses significantly reduced the duration, eliminating the need for subsequent harmonization.
Expressing the dedication of lawmakers, Bamidele mentioned the extension of sessions to Saturdays and the possibility of convening on Sundays. “We are reconvening on December 29. Our hopes and determination are 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,” affirmed Bamidele.
While discussing the budget, Bamidele raised concerns about economic sabotage impacting the nation’s financial stability. He specifically addressed efforts to disrupt exchange rates and restrict access to the naira.
Bamidele declared, “The Federal Government will, from next year, go after economic saboteurs who are making life difficult and unbearable for Nigerians.” He emphasized the intention to prosecute individuals responsible for manipulating currency values, hoarding currencies, and engaging in speculative activities to inflate commodity prices. “The consequences of their actions will not be overlooked. Those who mopped up the dollars to keep commodity prices high will not escape justice. Those speculating are also on the watch list,” Bamidele added, affirming the government’s commitment to addressing these economic challenges in the coming year.
Source: Business Post