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Jonathan To Present 2011 Budget Bill To NASS On Tuesday

Source: EMMA UCHE -
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ABUJA, Dec 10, (THEWILL) - President Goodluck Jonathan today requested that he be allowed to present the 2011 budget bill before a joint session of the National Assembly next week Tuesday, December 14, 2010.

The appeal was made via a two-paragraph letter read on the Senate floor.

“I crave the indulgence of the National Assembly to grant me the slot of 12.00 noon, Tuesday, December 14, 2010 to formally address the Joint Session of the National Assembly on Budget 2011,” President Jonathan wrote. The Senate however said that it would not object which chamber is chosen for the President’s presentation adding that the House of Representatives’ chamber has more room to accommodate all federal lawmakers.

Senate spokesman, Senator Ayogu Eze, said the President’s request would be considered and a reply would be sent to him adding that the joint sitting will be slated for either Tuesday or Wednesday depending on the time that would be convenient for the National Assembly.

Senator Eze however allayed fears that the crisis that erupted last year between both chambers over a venue for the joint session would repeat itself.

“We have put behind us what happened before. It doesn’t matter whether it will be at the Green Chamber or the upper chamber, provided there is an accommodation that will take everybody,” Eze said. There had been heightened anxiety over the delay in the submission of the 2011 budget. The complaints by lawmakers were that the late submission of the budget could spell late passage, which could also trigger criticisms from members of the public.

Senator Eze had said that the public should not mount pressure on the legislature to pass the budget since the Assembly will scrutinize the budget properly.

Meanwhile the President Jonathan yesterday presented to the National Assembly a bill to establish the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority.

He said the authority would build a savings base for future generations, enhance development of the infrastructure section in Nigeria, and assist fiscal stability in certain circumstances and for other related matters.

He expressed hope that the bill would receive the expeditious consideration of the National Assembly.