Strong indication emerged, Tuesday, that the Military and Intelligence agencies in the country, will get the lion share of the 2022 budget estimates.
This is as the Senate fixed October for budget defence session with management of the various federal government owned Ministries , Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
Making the disclosures in his welcome address to Senators, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said the trajectory of increase in funds to the various security agencies must be sustained in the 2022.
This he added, will serve as follow up to the over N800 billion appropriated for the Military and Intelligence agencies in July through the supplementary budget.
“Distinguished colleagues, you would recall that we approved the Supplementary Budget request of the Executive in July this year, just before we proceeded for the annual summer recess.
“The National Assembly approved over N800 Billion for our Security and Intelligence Agencies. While that provision was appropriate and indeed necessary, we should sustain the trajectory of increase in funds and resources to the security sector.
“Therefore, we should consider a ramp up of more resources for our security agencies in the 2022 Appropriation.
“This also requires that our Defence and Intelligence related Committees must step up their oversight on the Agencies,” he said.
Possibility of the 2022 budget presentation by President Muhammadu Buhari to joint session of the National Assembly this month, was also indicated in Lawan’s speech with October already fixed for budget defence sessions with the various MDAs.
He said: “The Senate Joint Committee on Finance, National Planning and Economic Matters, Petroleum Downstream, Petroleum Upstream and Committee on Banking, has been working hard on the 2022/2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).
“The report of the Committee will soon be presented to the Senate for consideration. This is preparatory to the presentation of the 2022 Appropriation Bill by Mr. President.
“Let me emphasise that the Senate, indeed the National Assembly is primed and ready to receive and start work on the Bill.
“The Standing Committees are ready to receive Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for budget Defense. As in the previous years, all MDAs are expected to defend their budget proposals within October 2021, as this is the only allotted window for the exercise.”
On the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), Lawan in the speech said relevant Committees of both the Senate and the House of Representatives , will carry out the required oversight on the implementation committee set up by the Executive .
He added that conference committee for harmonization of positions of the Senate and the House of Representatives on the recently passed electoral bill, will be set up by the Senate soonest, just as report on Constitution Review Exercise, will be given expeditious consideration.
“Let me assure Nigerians that the Senate, indeed the National Assembly is concerned with issues that will make Nigeria more a united and stronger Federation. A Nigeria where there will be Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress,” he said.