The 9th Senate, which came with the motto “A Senate that works for the people”, is ending the year with its shoulders up.
Returning budget approval earlier for a budget circle from January to December is one of the achievements of the 9th Senate.
The passage of the 2022 Election Bill (now the 2022 Election Bill) by both houses of the National Assembly shaped Nigeria’s politics in 2022 and now sets the pace for the 2023 general election.
There were back and forth deliberations on the electoral bill as politicians who have been profiting from a fraudulent electoral process never wanted electronic voting and transmission of election results.
From the presidency to the National Assembly, there were some influential politicians who made efforts to sabotage the electoral amendment process only to be exposed by Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).
Buhari, who has refused to consent to the ballot bill five times in six years due to excuses for errors, had to succumb to pressure from Nigerians to get him to sign the bill when CSOs exposed 11 editorial errors. in the electoral act that would have ruined the process.
Today, all the contenders in the 2023 general elections have the hope of winning due to the inclusion of the use of electronic voting and the transmission of the electoral results in the electoral act.
Apart from the electoral act, the PIA is one of the achievements of the Senate. While many think their latest budget approval will be in the new year, members of the National Assembly say the budget was approved last year.
Both houses of the National Assembly on Wednesday increased the 2023 budget from 20.51 trillion naira presented to them by President Muhammadu Buhari on 7 October 2022 to 21.82 trillion naira with a deficit of 10.782 trillion naira.
The Naira 1.3 trillion increase in the size of the budget, as explained separately by the chairman of both houses’ budget appropriations committees, arose from additional funding earmarked for the National Population Commission (NPC) ahead of the census. planned for 2023, 173 billion naira for the Independent National Electoral Commission. (INEC), ahead of the 2023 general election, the Nigerian Army, Navy, Nigerian Police Force, Ministries of Agriculture, Health, Aviation, and Science and Technology.
The National Assembly also raised the budget’s proposed oil reference price from $70 per barrel to $75 per barrel.
However, they retained other parameters previously proposed by the president, such as oil production of 1.69 million barrels per day, N435.57 per US dollar, a GDP growth rate of 3.75%, and an inflation rate of 17.16%.
Introducing the report in the Senate, Appropriations Committee Chairman Senator Barau Jibrin (APC Kano North) said that out of the N21.827 billion, N967.486 billion is for Legal Transfer, N8.329 billion for Non- recurring cost of debt, N5,972 billion for capital expenditures N6,557 billion for debt service.
Under the N967. 48 billion statutory transfers, the Office of the National Assembly has N30.492 billion, the Senate N33.267 billion, the House of Representatives, N51.994 billion, the National Assembly Service Commission, N10. 555 billion, Legislative Assistants, NN16.520 billion, General Services N11.307 billion, National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), N7.411 billion.
Others are: N30.173 billion for severance pay/inauguration of outgoing and incoming legislators of the 9th and 10th Assembly, N10.000 million for the construction of the NASC building, N2.500 million to complete the headquarters from NILDS etc.
Outside the National Assembly, N165 billion is earmarked for the National Judicial Council, N119.9 billion for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and N103 billion for Universal Basic Education.
Of the N5.972 billion proposed capital expenditures, the Ministry of Public Works and Housing has the lion’s vote of N398.275 billion, followed by the Ministry of Defense with N285.045 billion, the Ministry of Agriculture and Development Rural, N248.358 billion, Ministry of Education, N153.735 billion.
Regardless of what happened, the national assembly, especially the 9th senate, should be raising their duty because they kept their promise and also completed their entire legislative agenda.