Lawan Hamidu, Abuja.
The leadership of the Nigerian National Assembly has reiterated its readiness to work with the executive arm for the implementation of the 2020 budget.
This was stated in separate remarks by the Senate President, Senator Ahmad Lawan and the Speaker House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila during the 2020 Budget presentation to the joint session of the National Assembly.
Speaking in an opening address, the Senate President said that, the 9th National Assembly would work hand in hand with the executive to ensure the speedy consideration, passage and proper implementation of the budget.
“This was clearly demonstrated last week, when we received, processed and passed the request of Mr. President on the 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper, MTEF/FSP.
This function being the first in the 9th session of the National Assembly, makes it even more significant as both the Legislature and the Executive have demonstrated readiness and commitment to work together in order to pass the 2020 Budget in a good and desirable time.
Clearly, this effort is to enable the Federal government provide those laudable objectives of physical infrastructure and socio-economic services to our citizens.” Senate President said.
Dr. Lawan explained that the country needs a reliable Budgeting system for planning and execution of fiscal and financial policies and programmes which made it imperative to change the budget cycle to January-December.
The Senate President stated that after the receipt of the Budget Estimates, the National Assembly would swing into action as both Chambers have constituted their Committees and we’re eady to start processing the Budget estimates.
“In this regard, our Committees will be expected to conclude their work on Budget defense within October, this year.
The subsequent necessary legislative work will be carried out in November and December, leading to eventual passage before the end of this year.” He added.
The Speaker House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila said that what the President presented to the National Assembly was a statement of intent on what the country would use in transforming the lives of Nigerians.
Mr. Gbajabiamila maintained that the budget being passed into law over the years was a proof of the countries priorities and the reflection of the values it holds.
The values, he said, were integrity in managing the affairs of state and absolute commitment to the best interests of the Nigerian people coupled with priorities to build an economy that provides sufficient opportunity for people.
He said that, it was also to achieve the dream of equiping children with education that prepares them for the challenges and opportunities of a rapidly changing world and protect the rights citizens and securing them from internal and external aggression.
“This is our commitment and we will ensure that this commitment is reflected in the 2020 Appropriation Act.
He said that there were significant flaws in the process of passage and implementation of annual national budgets.
He adds that they also intend to improve on the past imperfections and to leave a legacy of budgets that are enacted without rancor, implemented diligently and that achieve the objectives of national development for which they are intended.