The National Assembly has approved an extension of the implementation deadline for the capital component of the 2023 budget from December 31, 2023, to March 31, 2024. This decision follows the successful passage of the Appropriation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, and the Supplementary Appropriation Act, 2022 (Amendment) Bill, 2023, during a plenary session held yesterday in both chambers.

The bills, presented by the executive, underwent second readings and were thoroughly examined by the Committee of Supply, which was chaired by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Benjamin Kalu. After consideration, the Committee of Supply submitted its report, which was subsequently adopted during the plenary session. The bills then advanced to the third reading, marking the final stage of the legislative process.

The Appropriation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, seeks to modify the existing Appropriation Act, 2023, by extending the implementation of the capital aspect of the budget from December 31, 2023, to March 31, 2024. The Supplementary Appropriation Act, 2022 (Amendment) Bill, 2023, also proposes an extension of the implementation period to March 31, 2024, amending the Principal Act accordingly.

The House of Representatives has adjourned plenary sessions until Saturday, December 30, 2023, to pass the 2024 budget (Appropriation Bill). This schedule aligns with the January-to-December budget cycle. Speaker Abbas Tajudeen announced the December 30th passage date, emphasizing that committees had three weeks to conclude their budget defense sessions with ministries, departments, and agencies. The intervening period will be utilized for budget compilation, processing, and harmonization.

Speaker Tajudeen remarked, “Those of you who may want to go for Christmas, try to take note that Saturday, December 30th, would be the day that we officially pass the budget 2024.” The development underscores the commitment of the National Assembly to maintain the established budget timeline.

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