2024 Appropriation Bill: Senate Gives Committee 48 Hours To Send Report


The Joint National Assembly Committee on Appropriation, on Monday, issued a 48-hour ultimatum to all Sub-Committees to submit their reports on the 2024 budget.

Co-Chairman, Solomon Olamilekan, said the directive followed the determination of the Senate to pass the N27.5 trillion Appropriation Bill before the end of December 2023 as Subcommittees began submission of their reports yesterday to the panel in Abuja.

The Committee on Tourism, chaired by Ireti Kingibe and that of Victor Umeh-led Committee on Diaspora and Non-Governmental organisations set the ball rolling.

In his opening remarks, Olamilekan urged the sub-committees to comply with the deadline to ensure that the National Assembly sustains the January-December budget cycle.

From the reports submitted on Monday, two issues caught the attention of lawmakers. First, is the fate of 136 Nigerians trapped in Ethiopian prisons, and second, was the N5 billion proposed in the budget to revamp Obudu Cattle Ranch in Cross River State.

During his presentation, Umeh noted that some of the inmates have opted to serve out their terms in Nigeria. He regretted that the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), which oversees such matters, is handicapped by poor funding.

According to him, the organisation has a N1.2 billion proposal for 2024, out of which N652.9 million had been earmarked for capital expenditure.

He stated that considering the workload at NIDCOM, N4.9 billion was recommended by his panel as its budget.

Responding, Olamilekan promised that the committee on appropriation would review the report and find a way to shore up the budget, “considering the very important work they have been doing.”

On her part, Kingibe informed the committee that out of the N7.9 billion proposed as capital budget of the Ministry of Tourism, over N5 billion was earmarked to revive Obudu Cattle Ranch.

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