Just less than 24 hours before the expiration of the 2016 budget on Friday, May 5, the Nigerian Senate has stepped down the presentation of the report of Senate Committee on Appropriations on the 2017 budget. The event which had been listed on the order paper has been stepped down by deputy senate president Ike Ekweremadu during plenary on Thursday, May 4. Senator Ekweremadu said the stepping down of the report was to enable members of the Appropriations committee in both the Senate and House of Representatives complete the harmonization of their report.
With this development, the country would be without a budget till next week when the 2017 appropriations act would have another chance at being passed. The Senate does not sit on Fridays or at the weekend. Premium Times had quoted chairman of the Senate committee on appropriations Danjuma Goje as saying on Monday, March 28 that the law backing the 2016 budget, 2016 Appropriations Act, provides that the budget shall run for 12 months. “As far as the Bill that was signed into law by Mr. President is concerned, there will be no mop up on 31st March 2017 since the validity period for the 2016 budget ends midnight May 5th, 2017, ” said Goje. It notes that further that the development is unprecedented as the Federal government has "never experienced a shutdown since the beginning of the Fourth Republic as it has always wriggled out of budget crisis before the constitutionally approved period".