The Director General Budget Office of the Federation Ben Akabueze has said that the organisation would soon introduce an ‘Organic Budget Law’ that would prescribe exact budget cycle time frame from presentation till implementation.
He also said that the clause in the roll-over implementation of the 2016 budget as passed by the National Assembly did not cover recurrent expenditure as it is applicable only to capital expenditure.
He spoke today in Abuja at the Lunchtime Reform Seminar on “Developments in the 2017 Budget’ organised by the Bureau for Public Service Reforms (BPSR) and the EU-SUFEGOR programme.
“We are working on a law that would specify the time frame for the presentation of the budget by Mr. President to the National Assembly, the time the National Assembly should debate and pass the budget for the President’s accent and the time the President must signed it into law. We are conscious that there may be need for amendments and this would be taken care of in the proposal,” Akabueze said.
He said since two budgets cannot run concurrently, the National Assembly would repudiate the clause that enable the 2016 budget to run till May this year when the 2017 budget is passed.
While listing the objectives of budget, he said achieving these objectives has however, become very difficult in Nigeria in the recent past.
“Policies, projects and programmes of government were mostly not successfully executed as a result of inadequate or improper budget conceptualization/implementation. These have reduced the competitiveness of the economy and slowed down production, exchange and consumption. As a result the standard of living of the average Nigerian continued to slide. This Administration is therefore committed to Budgetary reforms that would help turn around the fortunes of the country for good,” he said.
He however said that there is a constitutional provision for 50 percent expenditure of previous year’s recurrent costs till the budget is passed or till June 30.
On his part the Director General of the BPSR Dr. Joe Abah, said the seminar among others is to hold government chief executives to account for the reforms that they drive and also to inform and involve Nigerians in governance.