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Lawan reveals Buhari will sign 2023 budget on Tuesday



…says INEC will get necessary support 

The President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan, on Friday, December 30th, made it known that President Muhammadu Buhari will sign the 2023 appropriation bill on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2023.

Lawan hinted at this  while speaking to journalists after meeting behind closed doors with the President at the presidential villa, in Abuja.

He said the issue of the President’s recent additional loan request, the 2023 appropriate bill as well as the legislature’s support to the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) ahead of the general elections were discussed at the meeting with the president.

Lawan expressed regrets that the signing of the budget was happening a bit later than that of the signing of the 2022 budget  which was signed on December 31st 2021. 

He said, “We are looking forward to Mr. President signing the Appropriation Bill 2023, by the grace of God, on Tuesday.

“This is because we signed the documents yesterday, having lost some time because of some anomalous figures we had in the bill presented to the National Assembly.

“But thank God, the National Assembly in both chambers passed the Appropriation Bill 2023 on Wednesday, and I’m sure that Mr. President and his team, on the executive side, will work on what we have done. And the first thing on Tuesday, the first official working day of the year, I believe that Mr. President will be signing the Appropriation Bill 2023.”

He said that the delay was caused by  irregularities spotted in the bill, adding that it was the first time in the past four years that the Buhari-led government signed the national budget in the new year instead of the previous year. 

According to him, “We are very pleased that we have been able to, in the last four years, ensure the passage of the appropriation bills in record time before every Christmas, and Mr. President had always signed before the end of the year.

“This year, particularly, is because of the anomalous, very undesirable and unfortunate situation that we had to delay a little bit.

Speaking on the forthcoming general elections, the Senate President said that the INEC, “lacks nothing”, and that the National Assembly will support it to deliver credible elections.

He said, “We also discussed the 2023 general elections. The current National Assembly has always supported the executive in terms of ensuring that INEC gets whatever is necessary for it to work to ensure that elections are supported, that INEC doesn’t lack in anything.

“So we have committed ourselves to ensuring that we give INEC whatever it needs for it to conduct a very free, transparent and credible 2023 general elections. And we are here at all times between now and June 11 when our term will also expire as a legislature in the National Assembly.

“But before then, whatever INEC needs for 2023 to be a success, we will surely and certainly provide such support,” he said.

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