The Nigerian Senate has reintroduced a bill seeking to establish the National Assembly Budget and Research Office, NABRO, as debate on the General principles of the 2020 budget Bill entered day two.
The bill, which was passed by the 8th Senate on May 3, 2019, however, failed to receive assent by President Muhammadu Buhari.
It would be recalled that the move seeking to establish the National Assembly Budget office has failed on three different ocassions since it was conceived in 2005.
Following its reintroduction on Thursday, by the sponsor, Senator Rose Oko, the bill scaled first reading on the floor during plenary.
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 Nigerian 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 Nigerian government budgets including monitoring of existing and proposed programmes.
Essentially, the NABRO bill will provide assistance to all committees in both chambers of the National Assembly including but not limited to information with respect to budget and all bills relating to new budget heads; information with respect to estimated future revenue and changing revenue conditions.
Besides, the Director-General shall obtain information, data, estimates and statistics directly from ministries, departments and agencies.
More than that, the new law provides that “the Director General may, upon agreement with the head of any MDA utilise its services, facilities and personnel as needed by the (National Assembly Budget and Research) Office.”
Also on Thursday, nine other Bills scaled first reading during plenary as Senators continued debate on the General principles of the 2020 budget proposal.