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House of Reps adopts new protocol on budget defence for MDAs

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The House of Representatives has adopted a new protocol on budget defence for Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) of Government.

Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House Representatives, said this at the presentation of the 2021 budget estimate to the joint session of the national assembly on Thursday in Abuja.

The speaker said that all Chief Executive Officers (CEO) of MDAs would no longer be allowed to come with their protocol during budget defence.

“Let me also use this opportunity to announce a new protocol in the House, henceforth, all MDAs who come to defend their budget proposals will do so without their security details present.

“We must take this course of action to prevent the unacceptable proliferation of sidearms in the hearing rooms during such engagements.

“Additionally, the house intends to adhere to the COVID-19 social distancing protocols, and we need to be able to limit the numbers of people in these hearing rooms at any point in time.

”The house learnt the lesson at a high cost in the past few months and we must ensure that lessons learnt are reflected in the budget that emerged from the appropriation process,” he said.

Gbajabiamila said that the budget proposal would receive thorough and speedy consideration, adding that NASS would deliver that met the need and aspiration of the citizenry.

He said that it would toil to stick to the Jan – Dec budget processes as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

He said that the House promised to pass a budget that reflected the peoples priorities such as healthcare, education, public infrastructure and the development of an economy that was less dependent on fossil fuels

He added that the House had given to all Nigerians, the ability to achieve their dreams equal to their effort and commitment.

“We kept that promise too and we recognise that more needs to be done, and I assure all the Nigerian people that we will continue in this regard,” he said.

The Speaker stated that the presentation of the 2021 budget by President Muhammadu Buhari was a testament of the beauty of democracy in the country.

He said that NASS came with the promised to start a budget process free of rancour, adding that NASS had since kept to that promise.

Femi Ogunshola

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