Reps Pass 2021 Appropriation Bill For Second Reading

The 2021 Appropriation Bill passed the second reading at the House of Representatives after a two-day debate on the general principles of the national budget by members.

The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, after the second reading, transmitted the money bill to the House Committee on Appropriations, with the standing committees of the House serving as sub-committees.

The Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government are expected to appear before relevant committees to defend their proposals in the budget.

During the debate, several members commended and condemned various proposals in the bill.

While some lawmakers faulted provisions that were inadequate to meet the demands of their constituents, others commended the government for releasing over 50 per cent of the 2020 capital budget.

The lawmaker decried that there was nothing in the budget that suggested that the government was prepared to pay the money to NDDC.

Tunji-Ojo urged the House to mandate its Committee on Finance to interface with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to get a list of monies released for capital projects to enable members carry out comprehensive oversight function over the MDAs on the utilisation of the money.

Chairman of the House Committee on Health Services, Tanko Sununu, decried the low amount voted to the health sector, which he said was contrary to the provision of the National Health Act which states that allocation to the health sector in the annual budget should not be less than 1 per cent of the total budget.

Sununu pointed out that the N35bn allocated to the health sector was less than 1 per cent of the N13.08tn budget.

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