Reps to pass 2018 budget next Tuesday
ABUJA — House of Representatives has slated next Tuesday for the laying of 2018 budget. The House may also pass the Appropriation Bill the same day. The House may, after the passage of the bill, shut down plenary to protest the killing of Nigerians, especially in Benue State. It will be recalled that the House while adopting a motion last week took the decision to show their displeasure in the seemingly endless killings across the country. Briefing journalists at the end of yesterday’s sitting, Abdulrazak Namdas, Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, saidTuesday was sacrosanct for the passage of the budget. By Tuesday, the financial document would have stayed six months and one day at the National Assembly after President Muhammadu Buhari presented the 2018 Appropriation Bill of N8.612 trllion before a joint session of National Assembly on November 7, 2017. Namdas said: “Hopefully, we want to pass the budget next week. The budget is a voluminous document but I can authoritatively confirm that we will pass it. “We’ll lay it on Tuesday. We’re working very hard and within that same week or by this time next week we will pass it. I’m no longer speculating, I am sure now.” On the planned protest On the protest, Namdas said it would still hold after the passage of the budget. “We can’t go on the three-day break when such an important issue like the budget is pending. We’ll surely observe the three-day break as a sign of our protest against the killings, but we won’t do it to jeopardize national interest,” said Namdas. He said the modalities as to when it would hold will be determined by the House leadership. On invitation to the president The chairman also hinted that the letter inviting the President to brief the House on the state of the nation’s security, following the unending killings, was being handled by the management of the National Assembly. “Once the House took the decision to invite the president and passed the resolution, it ends there. The onus now lies on the National Assembly management as represented in the person of the Clerk to the National Assembly to communicate to the Presidency,” he added. Meanwhile, a Bill for an Act to make it mandatory for health warning labels to be conspicuously tagged on all alcoholic products upon advertisement in Nigeria passed a second reading at the House.