Yesterday, the Senate extended the implementation of the 2021 Appropriation Act from March 31st to May 31st, 2022.
Also, the Senate Committee on Finance directed the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, (NUPRC) to stop international oil companies evading taxes from lifting crude oil from Nigeria.
This is just as lawmakers at the green chamber yesterday urged the federal government to take urgent steps to address the epileptic power supply in the country which they argued had brought untold hardship on Nigerians.
However, the Senate had before the consideration of an amendment to the 2021 Appropriation Act, suspended Rule 78 (1) of the Senate Standing Orders 2022 (as amended), to enable the upper chamber to expeditiously introduce and pass the bill.
The bill was read yesterday for the first, second and third time after the suspension of Rule 78(1).
The bill was sponsored by the Senate Leader, Senator Yayah Abdullahi (Kebbi North).
Abdullahi, who led the debate, recalled that prior appropriation acts in the past were passed mid-year, with their implementation usually extended to the following year.
Abdullahi, explained that the extension of the budget period became imperative in view of the need to complete ongoing projects nearing completion.
“As you are aware, the 2021 virement of the aggregate sum of N276 billion was approved for several MDAs by the National Assembly in December, 2021 along with 100 per cent release of the 2021 capital budget of the MDAs.
“A significant portion of the releases to the MDAs has been utilised following the extension to 31st March, 2022.
“In view of the critical importance of some key projects nearing completion, it is expedient to grant further extension of the expiration clause to avoid compounding the problem of abandoned projects given that some of the projects were not provided for in the 2022 budget hence the need to extend the implementation year form 31 March, 2022 to 31st May, 2022.”