2024 budget: No fire brigade approach – Senate

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The Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Solomon Adeola Olamilekan has said there will be no fire brigade approach towards passage of the N27.5 trillion 2024 budget presented by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

He gave the assurance while speaking with journalists on Saturday after a meeting of the committee.

The lawmaker also dismissed claims in some quarters that President Tinubu presented an empty box to the lawmakers, suggesting that the president was not ready with the necessary documents.

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Olamilekan described some lawmakers making the allegation as ignorant.

On the alleged fire brigade approach, the Senator noted that there was nothing close to fire brigade approach in the handling of the budget, adding that the executive and the legislature were aware of January to December budget circle implementation, hence, they would work to ensure that the budget was passed in record time.

He said, “Saturday’s meeting was to plot a template that would ensure smooth committee hearing of the budget,” a development he said, made all the relevant committee chairmen to be present.

“There is no fire brigade here. There are processes that we have to follow. Agencies will have to appear to defend their budgets, and they will return the budget to the Appropriations Committee for us to collate their findings at the committee level.

“We have only discussed the modalities that we are going to use to ensure we have a smooth appropriation process in the Senate and I think all the chairmen of the various committees of the Senate are here and we discussed extensively so that we can still meet the 31st December – January deadline, so that the president can assent to the budget.

“We have perfected the strategy, and we are good to go. That is basically what we discussed.

“This time around, what has changed is that we will be having joint sittings of both the House of Representatives and the Senate; some committees will be operating from the Senate, while some will operate from the House of Representatives. We can still meet the deadline.”

SKYBLAST TV earlier reported that the 2024 annual budget has passed through second reading and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Appropriation.

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