In a bid to ensure that the N27.5 trillion 2024 budget is passed this month, the Joint National Assembly Committee on Appropriation has issued a 48-hour ultimatum to all sub-committees to submit their reports.
There are strong indications that the National Assembly may pass the budget on Thursday, as all committees are expected to turn in reports by Wednesday. The submission process began on Monday, with the Committee on Tourism, chaired by Ireti Kingibe, and the Committee on Diaspora and Non-Governmental Organizations, led by Victor Umeh, taking the lead.
Olamilekan Adeola, the chairman of the joint committee, urged sub-committees to adhere to the deadline to ensure the National Assembly meets the January-December budget cycle.
“I am appealing to all my colleagues to please, I am ready, and the deadline is Wednesday this week to receive all reports, all standing committees of the senate,” he said.
“By Wednesday, any agency or any committee that has not submitted their report before the committee has assumed that you are giving us the omnibus power to go ahead and treat your budget independently of that committee.
“So, we are appealing to all chairmen of various committees to please submit their reports on or before Wednesday this week.”
Victor Umeh, chairman of the committee on diaspora and non-governmental organisations, told the committee in his report that the Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) is handicapped due to poor funding.
Umeh said the commission was given a budget of N1.2 billion for 2024, out of which N652.9 million was for capital expenditure.
But Umeh stated that, looking at the workload of NIDCOM, N4.9 billion was recommended by his committee as the agency’s capital budget.
The committee promised to review the report and find a way to increase the budget of NIDCOM, considering the important role it plays.