The Senate on Tuesday, said it would ensure speedy passage of the 2017 Appropriation Bill to help stimulate the economy. The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, gave the assurance in a remark at the resumption of sitting by the Senate after the three weeks recess.
Saraki said that based on the recommendations of the Budget Reform Committee, the Senate would ensure timely passage of the budget so that its implementation would follow a regular fiscal circle.
According to him, the budget is the most critical instrument for economic reordering and effective tool to stimulate the economy for even distribution of development across the country.
The senate president, however, warned that the National Assembly would not tolerate the practice whereby some government agencies failed to submit their budgets within the budget period.
“This is why I urge all agencies yet to submit their budgets to do so quickly as budgets not received in time may have to wait for the next budget circle,” he said
Saraki said that in the last quarter, the Senate successfully passed 49 bills through third reading and 68 bills through second reading.
“This is a record which has never been matched in the history of the national assembly.”
He called on his colleagues to ensure the passage of all bills bothering on economic reform before the Senate in order to get the country out of recession.
“Ideally, we would like to see them passed together with the 2017 budget.
“It is hoped that as we begin to turn our focus toward the 2017 budget, these bills will be implemented simultaneously with the budget to enable us exit the recession quickly.”
He urged all senate committees involved with priority bills to double efforts to ensure that the bills were ready by the end of the first quarter.
The senate president condemned the increase in violence across the country especially in Southern Kaduna.
He said that the senate would not pay lip service to the menace and watch innocent Nigerians being slaughtered because of religion, ethnicity or politics.
He added that the Senate would ensure thorough investigation into the killings to unravel the reasons behind them and advise government appropriately on the matter.
Saraki called on Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, to use his authority and constitutional mandate to immediately halt the growing rate of violence in Southern Kaduna.
On protection of consumer rights, he said that the Senate would pay attention to such rights to ensure that they were not violated.
“We are prepared to defend the rights of Nigerians to receive superior quality of products or services for which they pay with their hard-earned money.”