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Economy

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By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The appropriation bill passed into law on Wednesday should be signed into law next week by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Senate President, Mr Ahmad Lawan, has disclosed.

He made this disclosure after he had a closed-door meeting with Mr Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Friday.

While addressing reporters after the private meeting, the number three citizen of the country said he discussed the 2023 budget and other issues, including the general elections taking place next year.

The Senate President specifically said the 2023 fiscal year budget, which is the highest in the history of the country at N21.83 trillion, would be signed on Tuesday, December 3, 2023, all things being equal.

“We are looking forward to Mr President signing the Appropriation Bill 2023, by the grace of God, on Tuesday.

“This is because we signed the document on Thursday, having lost some time because of some anomalous figures we had in the bill presented to the National Assembly.

“But thank God, the National Assembly in both chambers passed the Appropriation Bill 2023 on Wednesday, and I’m sure that Mr President and his team on the executive side will work on what we have done.

“And the first thing on Tuesday, the first official working day of the year, I believe that Mr President will be signing the Appropriation Bill 2023,” Mr Lawan stated.

He described his discussions with Mr Buhari as fruitful, noting that the executive and the legislative arms of government have been working cordially for the growth of Nigeria, saying this has made it possible to have a January to December budget cycle.

However, he lamented the delay in passing the 2023 budget earlier than expected, attributing this to the irregularities discovered the in the 2023 appropriation bill, which was later cleaned up.

“We are very pleased that we have been able to, in the last four years, ensure the passage of the appropriation bills in record time before every Christmas, and Mr President had always signed before the end of the year.

“This year, particularly, is because of the anomalous, very undesirable and unfortunate situation that we had to delay a little bit.

“You will recall that the National Assembly had to cut down its Christmas recess to come back on Wednesday for the sole purpose of passing the appropriation bill, which we could have passed a week before. So all the same, there’s nothing that we missed,” the Senate President said.

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