Nigerian Senate President Ahmad Lawan says the country’s President Muhammadu Buhari will present the 2021 budget next week before a joint session of the National Assembly.
The Senate has also given the various Ministries Departments and Agencies the month of October for the defense of their 2021 budget estimates.
Lawan spoke at the resumption of plenary on Tuesday after an eight-week recess and noted that the revised 2020 budget will be effectively supervised to ensure proper implementation.
He stated that there is a $14 billion dollar revenue gap and an over-reliance on crude oil which should be addressed through diversification of the economy.
Lawan also said the National Assembly is in possession of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which will receive the necessary legislative action.
“The Senate needs to pay particular attention to the implementation of the Federal Government Economic Sustainability Plan. This strategic plan is an essential means of revamping our economy, as it provides interventions in the mass agricultural programme, infrastructure, mass housing programme, investments in healthcare infrastructure, amongst others.
“We were confronted with an over $14billion revenue gap and the grim reality of an unwholesome overdependence on oil. We cannot overemphasize the need to focus on other important sectors like agriculture, solid minerals, and steel development and manufacturing, with a view to diversifying our economy.
“We need to work with relevant stakeholders to prevent our economy from going into a recession, stimulate the economy, save and create more jobs through a sustainable multiplier effect,” Lawan said.
The Senate President also expressed worry over the country’s security situation and said the Senate will continue to provide crucial legislative interventions to assist in securing the country.
“The security situation in our country is not what we want it to be. We want a security situation that guarantees the protection of lives and property of citizens.
“Today, our country is bedevilled by multifaceted security challenges. We, therefore, need to continuously seek enduring measures to arrest the situation.
“In this regard, the Senate will continue to provide the necessary legislative intervention at all times to improve the situation. There can never be any more important government function than the protection of lives and property of its citizens,” Lawan stated.