EARLY PASSAGE OF 2020 BUDGET WILL PROVE THE ACCOUNTABILITY OF THE 9TH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

By Godson Ikiebey-

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said that the early passage of the 2020 budget will prove that the 9th Assembly is accountable to Nigerians.

Gbajabiamila said this on Tuesday, October 8, 2019 at a joint session of the National Assembly on the presentation of the budget estimates by President Muhammadu Buhari. He said: 

“The Appropriation Bill that Mr President has presented to us today is a statement of intent. The budget when enacted into law, will be proof of our priorities and a reflection of our values we hold.

“What are those values? Integrity, accountability in managing the affairs of the state and absolute commitment to the best interest of the Nigerian people. 

“What are our priorities? Building an economy that provides sufficient opportunities for our people to achieve the dreams they hold dear, equipping our children with an education that prepares them for the challenges, protecting the rights of our citizens and securing them from internal and external aggression.

According to Gbajabiamila, the National Assembly will work to ensure “that this commitment is reflected in the 2020 Appropriation Act”. 

Speaking, Senate President Ahmed Lawan explained that the lawmakers are working towards passing the budget before the end of 2019.

He explained that the aim is to ensure that Nigeria’s budget cycle is returned to the January-December calendar year. He said: 

“The public, as well as the private sector, need a reliable budget cycle that is predictable and reliable for planning and execution of their financial policies and programmes.

“It is, therefore, necessary that the present cycle is changed to a January to December cycle. In this regard, the National Assembly and the Executive must work together to ensure the realisation of this important objective. 

“In this regard, our committees will be expected to conclude their work on budget defence within October this year, the subsequent necessary legislative work will be carried out in November and December, leading to the eventual passage before the end of this year”.

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