The deputy chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation since 2011, Senator Sonni Ogbuoji has assured Nigerians that there will be early passage of the year’s budget as the 8th Senate will soon wind down for a new phase.
Ogbuoji gave the assurance at an interactive with journalists in Abuja Wednesday and also noted that the Senate has worked out modalities to make sure the short period of time left for it to end will not be hindrance to working out a perfect and implementable fiscal policy for the nation this year.
He also dismissed insinuations that the jostle for the leadership of the coming National Assembly that has started at the party levels would affect the passage of the 2019 appropriation bill.
‘What is happening or seems to be going on concerning the jostle for the leadership of the two chambers of the National Assembly will never be an excuse to delay or necessitate an unprofessional conclusion of the of the budget passage processes.
Politics of the leadership of the NASS has got nothing to do with the passage of the budget bill. We at the Appropriation Committee have already set everything in motion to make sure the process is not hampered. We are aware of the peculiarity of the budget of this year, the first after the nation got out of recession because although we are out of the economic doldrums, we have not fully recovered to grow or operate at a very robust rate.
We are encouraged by the postulation of the Central Bank of Nigeria, that the nation’s economy will grow at a rate of 3 percent this year, which the African Development Bank gave a better hope in its projection that our economy will grow at 4 percent, but we are still cautious and would ensure that the enablers that would facilitate a steady growth and actualization of the projected growth get priority attention.
The senator also asked Nigerians never to be perturbed by the political scheming for the leadership of the 9th NASS. He said the legislature at the national level experienced the same test in 2015 prior to the choosing of the leadership.
‘We still rose above that and did the right thing. So I am persuaded that at last common sense that puts the interest of the nation first would prevail and work out a smooth process that will engender a productive leadership that will focus mostly on those prime duties of the NASS to make sure our democracy grows stronger.’