2022 Budget, Electoral Bill, others at the front burner as NASS resumes

President Muhammadu Buhari presenting 2021 budget at the National Assembly

As both chambers of the National Assembly resume from eight weeks annual recess, Tuesday, legislative issues such as the 2022 budget, the 2010 Electoral Act (Amendment) bill 2021 and report on Constitution review exercise, top agenda.

Template for presentation of the 2022 budget by President Muhamnadu Buhari was laid in July with submission of 2022 – 2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework ( MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper ( FSP) which was passed for second reading by both chambers before proceeding on the now ended recess on July 15, 2021.

Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper is the basis upon which the 2022 Appropriations Bill will be prepared and presented to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari.

For further expeditious consideration of the request, relevant committees of both chambers , had interface with heads of various federal government owned Ministries, Departments and Agencies ( MDAs) during the recess as regards revenue projections for the 2022 budget .

Both chambers are   also expected to set up a harmonisation Committee to reach a consensus on the 2010 Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, which generated controversy before their recess.

It would be recalled that Senate and House of Representatives passed divergent versions of the Electoral Act , particularly as regards the issue of electronic transmission of election results as contained in clause 52( 3) of the bill.

While the House of Representatives adopted the clause as originally proposed by joint committees of both chambers , the Senate anebded it .

The House version reads :  “The Commission ( INEC)  may transmit results of elections by electronic means where and when practicable”as against the Senate which states : ” Adequate Coverage and effective working of Network must be adjudged  by the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) for electronic  transmission of  election results by INEC”.

Also at the front burner for consideration at both chambers, is report on Constitution Review exercise seperately carried out by Ad- hoc committees set up for that purpose.

Specifically the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan ,  declared in July that consideration of the report on resumption in September ,  will be one of the Legislative items to be attended to .

He said: “Time is of essence as far as the Constitution Review exercise is concerned which I believe , the Ad – hoc Commitee ably led  by the Deputy President of the Senate, is mindful of.

“The Commitee will surely use the period of the long recess to tidy up its assignment for submission of report on resumption in September.”

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