Senate President seeks legislation for budget cycle

Edwin Akwueh, Abuja

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Senate President, Ahmed Lawan

President of the Nigerian Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan has underscored the need to have a budget reform that will include a law on timeliness in budget passing.

He spoke on “Reforming the Budget Cycle: A First Step in Our Journey to the Next Level” at the “Government Meets Business Dinner” of the Institute of Directors Annual Conference.

Senator Lawan said timeliness and deadlines will give leaders focus and make more definite on deliverables.

According to the Senate President, reports have shown that countries like the United States of America, Canada, Austria, Brazil, France and India have more definite budget cycles through legislation.

“We have resolved to be reform minded in the 9th National Assembly and improving the budget cycle is one area of focus.

“Our attention will be on the areas where enhancements are needed and we are surely not going to look away from them in the interest of national growth, development and wellbeing of our people,” Lawan stated.

Economy data base
The Senate President said it is also important to improve on database showing the social economic conditions of the country.

He stressed that a database would be more helpful for the appreciation of financial projections notwithstanding the current efforts by the National Bureau of Statistics and some multilateral agencies showing the sectoral performances of the economy.

The Senate President called for the amendment of the Public Procurement Act 2007, stating that “we are of the firm belief that the Act has not provided the intended efficacy it should produce.”

“Related to this is the need to match budget projections with fund release if accountability is to be appreciable.

“Proper documentation of financial activities and reduced political Interventions in the budgetary process are additionally important steps to follow.

“We should try to reduce frivolous items on the recurrent expenditure list to increase our disposition to produce, ensure judicious expenditure process and to guarantee value-for-money,” Lawan added.

 

Sammie Idika