The Committees on Appropriation, Finance and National Planning of both chambers of the National Assembly met on Thursday with a delegation led by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed.
Senator representing Kano North and Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Jibrin Barau, told newsmen that the Senate received a copy of the N10.596 trillion 2020 budget on Wednesday while the leadership of the House of Representatives was the first to receive it on Tuesday.
Senator Barau said both chambers were committed to smooth passage of the amended budget with the cooperation of the Finance Ministry.
He said: “Now that the bill to amend the 2020 budget has been submitted to the National Assembly, we decided to strengthen the collaboration of consistent engagement with the executive arm of government so that by the time we go into the full activity of processing the bill, we would not have any major disagreement.
“We want to have a smooth process that would be devoid of acrimony or disagreement between the National Assembly and the executive. The minister was here in pursuant of the earlier trend which had been established since the beginning of the ninth Senate.
“The impact of the COVID-19 on the economy is that the revenues that was supposed to flow into the coffers of government are not coming in, necessitating amendment of the earlier passed budget to be in tune with the current realities.”
Senator representing Lagos West and Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Solomon Olamilekan Adeola said the interface with the Minister of Finance was in compliance with the directive of the leadership of the National Assembly .
The Finance Minister told journalists that the session was in line with consultative process between the National Assembly and the executive arm of government on COVID-19 in relation to required amendment of the 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Frame work and the earlier passed and signed N10.596 trillion 2020 budget.