Senate President Ahmed Lawan has said that the recently-passed 2022 appropriation bill of 17.13tn will be transmitted to the President Muhammadu Buhari by next week for signing.
Lawan, who was accompanied by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, revealed this when he visited Buhari at his residence at the Presidential Villa.
Explaining his purpose at the Villa, the Senate President said, “Mr President invited the honourable speaker and me to come so he could thank the National Assembly through us for working so hard to pass the 2022 appropriation bill, which will be brought to Mr. President for his assent by next week by the grace of God.
“We’re very optimistic. In fact, we’re very sure that Mr President will sign the bill into an act of the National Assembly next week by the grace of God. And this is the way we should always work together. This is our third appropriation bill to be passed before we go on Christmas break.
“It has shown how important the passage and the assent to the budget before the end of the year has been. You will recall that we were in two or three different recessions. But because public expenditure, which normally drives our economy, as a developing economy, has always brought that advantage, made the availability of funds into the economy. And we can come out of the recess periods.
“So, I want to thank Mr President for thanking the National Assembly. Because this is essentially the reason why he invited the speaker and me to say that National Assembly, thank you very much for working with us for making this budget 2022 pass in good time as you did for 2020 and 2021.”
On his part, the Speaker of the House of Representatives has said that the lower house has not collected signatures to override the President’s decision to withhold assent to the Electoral Amendment Bill.
Gbajabiamila said, “I’m not aware of any such threats to override the President’s decision; at least not in my chambers. We’re on a break right now. So, the collection of signatures is not something that is done when everybody’s scattered.
“I made it abundantly clear at our last sitting that we will look at the President’s veto and his reasons when we come back on. It’s not something we’re going to do on a knee jerk.
“When we come back from our recess, there’s still ample time. We will decide one way or the other. We will do what is right for the Nigerian people.
“And I made it very clear that we’re not going to throw away the baby with the bathwater. And the electoral law is what a credible electoral process needs. And laws are what is required at this time. Nigerians want it and Nigerians will get it.”
Though he lamented that the house had tarried for a while, he affirmed that “by the time we come back, at least as far as the house and I’m sure the Senate as well, is concerned, it will be the first thing on our agenda. The very week we come back from recess.”