The House of Representatives on Sunday passed through Third Reading a bill seeking to extend the implementation of the 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Act of the Capital aspect from June 30, 2023, to December 31, 2023.
The bill which seeks to approve the sum of N819 billion for capital expenditure and related matters was considered at the Committee of Supply, thereby raising the budget deficit for 2022 to N8.17 trillion and deficit GDP ratio to 4.43 per cent.
The bill is expected to be transmitted to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent before the expiration of his tenure which ends at midnight.
Recall that the House had on the 28th March 2023 earlier approved the extension of the timeframe for the good governance of the nation and the benefit of Nigerians.
President Buhari had in a letter to the Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, solicited for approval for the capital expenditure component of the 2022 budget to be financed through new domestic borrowings.
According to him, the additional became necessary due to the devastation caused by floods on farmlands and road infrastructure.
“The year 2022 has witnessed the worst flood incidents in recent history in the country which has caused massive destruction of farmlands at the point already close to the harvest season.
“This may compound the situation of food security and nutrition in this country.
“The flood also devastated the road infrastructure across the 36 states and the FCT and it affected several sections of major roads and bridges nationwide that are critical to movement of goods and services.
“The water sector was also affected by the flood and there is the need to complete some ongoing critical projects that have achieved about 85 per cent completion.
“The nine critical projects proposed in the water sector cuts across water supply, dam projects and irrigation projects nationwide.
“I have therefore approved the supplementary 2022 Appropriation of N819,000,536,937, all of which are capital expenditures.
“The supplementary would be financed through additional domestic borrowings and this would raise the budget deficit for 2022 to 8.17 trillion and deficit GDP ratio to 4.43 per cent,” President Buhari said in the letter
In the same vein, the House passed through Third Reading a Bill seeking to repeal the Produce (Enforcement of Export Standards) Act, 2004.
The bill also seeks to enact the Federal Produce Inspection Service (Enforcement of Export Standards) (Establishment) Bill, 2023 to provide for the Inspection and enforcement of Grades and Quality Standards of Produce and Commodities intended for Export from Nigeria at Ports of Shipment.
The bill was passed after the adoption of the recommendations at the Committee of the Whole, chaired by the Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.
The House passed through Third Reading a Bill for an Act to amend the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007 and for related matters at the Committee of the Whole.
Meanwhile, Chairman, House Committee on Water Resources, Hon. Sada Soli kicked against the rationale behind the
He said: “Mr Chairman, does it mean with this amendment that the CBN somehow advances to Government at 10% or is it a wake-up call that at the twilight of this government we are changing this from 5% to 15%?
“Can the Chairman, Banking and Currency kindly exchange this explanation not only to the National Assembly but to Nigerians.
“Does it mean the CBN granted this advances at 15% or what is going on?
“This is what we don’t know Chairman.
“I’m a member of the Committee on Banking and Currency. I didn’t know when this discussion took place.
“I can stand on privilege Order 6 to call for an explanation as a member of this Committee, how we reach at this amendment, please?”
In his response, Hon. Wase who presided over the Committee of the Whole said: “Hon. Sada the only explanation I may attempt to give if I listened to you very carefully is this, the Chair has the right to commit after second reading any bill to the Committee of the Whole.
“It is there contained in our Standing Order. It depends on the importance and the exigency of the moment.
“And in light of this I want to beg our Colleagues to please consider this amendment and we pass it so that we have the right thing done,” he urged.
However, the House deferred the consideration of a bill seeking to repeal the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission Act, 2004 and enact the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission Bill to grant the Commission enforcement powers in the monitoring of accruals to and disbursement of revenue from the Federation Account and to bring the Act in conformity with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
The bill was transmitted to the Senate for concurrence and slated for consideration at the Committee of the Whole.
Meanwhile, a member of Social Democratic Party (SDP), Hon. Cook Olododo from Kwara State, formally announced his resolution to join All Progressives Congress (APC).
The notice was contained in a letter read by the Speaker on the floor of the House before adjourning plenary.
To this end, the House adjourned plenary to Tuesday, 30th May, 2023.