The National Assembly Nigerian aims to pass the 2017 budget by the end of March, the president of the Senate revealed on Tuesday.
“This month is our deadline to finish work on the budget and return it to the executive,” Senate President Bukola Saraki said after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari and the head of parliament’s lower chamber.
President Buhari had presented his record of 7.298 trillion naira ($23.21 billion) budget to lawmakers in December.
The budget must be agreed by lawmakers before being passed back to the president and passed into law and heads of ministries and agencies of government have already appeared at the National Assembly to defend their budget.
President Muhammadu Buhari had vowed that the financial distortions associated with the 2016 budget will be avoided in the 2017 budget.
Buhari reiterated that he had been in government since 1975, variously as governor, oil minister, head of state, and Chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF), and never heard the word, ‘padding’ till the 2016 Budget.
Meanwhile, 86 political associations have applied for registration as political parties, ahead of the 2019 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) revealed.
At the commission’s quarterly meeting with leaders of political parties at INEC headquarters, Abuja, the Chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, described political parties as important vehicles in the management of the country’s democracy.
He congratulated the 10 political parties which recently re-registered after being deregistered following their performances during the 2015 general elections.
The political parties, according to him, are Better Nigeria Peoples Parties (BNPP), Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), Peoples Progressives Party (PPP), Democratic Alternative (DA), National Action Council (NAC) and National Democratic Liberty Party (NDLP).
Others are Masses Movement of Nigeria (MMN), National Conscience Party (NCP), Nigeria Element Progressives Party (NEPP) and the National Unity Party (NUP).