‘National Assembly will pass 2024 Appropriation Bill Dec 30’ – Senate Leader Bamidele

The Senate Majority Leader, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele. has revealed that the Federal Government will, from next year, go after economic saboteurs who make life difficult and unbearable for Nigerians.

Bamidele also insisted that the National Assembly will pass the 2024 Appropriations Bill on December 30 to sustain the January-December budget cycle.

He made this disclosure at a session with journalists in Iyin Ekiti, Ekiti State, on Monday, saying all federal lawmakers would have to cut short their holidays to ensure speedy passage of the 2024 appropriations bill.

At the session, Bamidele expressed grave concerns about the activities of economic saboteurs who were doing everything to keep exchange rates high against the naira or trying to make the naira unavailable to the people who kept their money in banks.

According to him: “The Federal government will, from next year, go after economic saboteurs who are making life difficult and unbearable for Nigerians. The federal government will charge, prosecute, and punish them for their acts of economic sabotage.

“All these will take place next year. In the long run, those who mopped up the naira and dollars from the markets will face the consequences of their actions. Those who mopped up the dollars to keep commodity prices will definitely not escape justice.

“Those who are speculating are also on the watch list of the Federal Government. At some points, the Federal Government will have to go after them.”

He also revealed the plan of the Federal Government “to invest heavily in agriculture and agro-allied industries.”

He added: “We are equally doing all we can to harness our solid mineral potential as much as what we derive from the sale of crude oil. We are determined to sustain the daily production of 1.7 million barrels.”

Providing further updates on the 2024 Appropriation Bill, he assured that the National Assembly would pass the budget on December 30.

He said: “To ensure the passage of the budget, we abridged time to make all ministries, departments, and agencies appear before the joint sitting of all the relevant committees of both the Senate and House of Representatives.

“This has already reduced the time for the budget defence process by half rather than appearing before the Senate first and House of Representatives later. The resolution has also removed the need for harmonisation. In essence, we have been able to save time.

“We have also been sitting beyond our regular sitting days. We have sat on Saturdays. We may even sit on Sunday as we are approaching another year. We only give ourselves three days to go home and celebrate Christmas.

“We are reconvening on December 29. Our hope and determination is to pass by December 30. On January 1, 2024, Mr President will have the 2024 appropriation bill at his desk for assent so that its implementation can take off in earnest.”

He also explained the federal government’s decision on the removal of fuel subsidy.

According to him: “This administration did the right thing by putting an end to the fuel subsidy regime. Part of what we have seen after the fuel subsidy removal was a fightback from those who were the beneficiaries of the fuel subsidy regime.

“They are doing everything possible to make sure the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit goes up because we are more of a consumer economy. We do not produce.”

 

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