The Nigerian Senate has re-emphasised the need for continuity in the implementation of public projects to avoid disruption in the entire budgeting process.
The lawmakers also believe that the annual budget cycle of twelve months must be respected by all the arms of government especially the Ministries Departments and Agencies, which are saddled with the responsibility of implementing the budget.
Deputy Chairman of the Senate committee on Army, Senator Ibrahim Dambaba, made this known while addressing officers of the Nigerian Army led by the Chief of Staff, at the 2018 budget defence session.
Senator Dambaba confirmed that the Senate is deeply worried that Nigerians in various constituencies are disturbed by the atmosphere of insecurity occasioned by the heated politicking in recent times.
“There is a disconnect, if what we do every time is to set aside the previous year’s budget to deal with the current year’s budget, and I have always said it that it will not take us anywhere. The only way we can make positive progress is when there is continuity.”
Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Burutai observed that the operation of the envelop system in Nigeria’s budgeting process has affected the tackling of the lingering security challenges in some parts of the country.
According to the Army Chief, security management is so strategic that it must be given the top most priority in terms of budget, with provisions for emergency or contingency circumstances.
He assured the Senators that the military is providing the necessary support to the Police and other security Agencies in tackling the herdsmen/ farmers’ crisis; stressing that 100% release of budgetary allocations would help to solve the problem in the long run.
“That’s why I mentioned about the removal of the envelop system where we cannot go beyond certain amount, because, even if we go beyond a stipulated amount, it will still go through Ministerial scrutiny and eventually be sliced.”
General Burutai also commended the Senate for its continuous support in ensuring the smooth running of the government, and pledged to sustain the loyalty of the Nigerian Army to the civil authority under a democratic Nigeria.