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Senate reintroduces bill for NASS budget office

The Senate on Thursday reintroduced a Bill seeking to establish the National Assembly Budget and Research Office (NABRO).

The Bill, which was passed by the 8th Senate on May 3, 2019 failed to receive assent of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Following its reintroduction at plenary, the Bill which scaled first reading was sponsored by Sen. Rose Oko (PDP-Cross River).

The idea to establish the National Assembly Budget Office was first conceived in 2005 under the Senate Presidency of Sen. Ken Nnamani, but failed to materialise at the floor of the upper chamber.

Again, plans to introduce the Bill in the 6th Senate under the leadership of Sen. David Mark was aborted as it failed to receive the required support.

The Bill was first introduced on the floor of the 7th Senate under Senate President David Mark, and sponsored by the Senate Leader Victor Ndoma-Egba at that time.

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The proposed National Assembly budget office will report annually to the Senate and House of Representatives all items funded in the preceding financial year for which no appropriation was made by the National Assembly.

And all items contained in the Appropriation Act in the preceding financial year but which were not funded by the Federal Government.

The office is to be headed by a Director-General, who shall also report to a governing board made up of a chairman and six members and shall provide independent and continuous review of the Federal Government budgets including monitoring of existing and proposed programmes.

Provide independent unbiased analysis of the budget of the National Assembly and assist all the committees of the National Assembly in developing their annual budgets.

Besides the NABRO Bill, nine others scaled first reading during Thursday’s plenary which include National Industrial Court Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019, sponsored by Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege (APC-Delta).

Others are Court of Appeal Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019, by Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege; Nigerian Maritime Zones Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2019, by Sen. George Sekibo (PDP-Rivers); City University of Technology Yaba Bill, 2019, by Sen. Solomon Olamilekan Adeola (APC- Lagos).

Federal College of Agriculture Ofoni, Bayelsa State (Est.) Bill, 2019, by Sen. Lawrence Ewhrudjakpor (APC-Bayelsa); Police Act CAP P19 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2019, by Sen. Gershom Bassey (Cross River).

Tertiary Education Trust Fund Act 2004 (Amendment)  Bill,  2019, by Sen. Abdullahi Adams (APC-Nasarawa); and Federal Medical Centres Bill, 2019, sponsored by Sen. Betty Apiafi (PDP-Rivers). (NAN)