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National Assembly set to repeal Fiscal Responsibility Act

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Senate Leader, Alhaji Muhammad Ali Ndume

Senate Leader, Alhaji Muhammad Ali Ndume

The National Assembly has put machinery in place to amend the 58 year old Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA), with the submission of the report upon which the amendment would be predicated.

The report, which was presented to the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki by the Leader of the Senate, Ali Ndume in Abuja, recommends that annual budget be presented in the first week of September.

The report presented by the Technical Committee on Budget Reforms also recommended that the budget be considered within two months and passed latest on the 30th of November.

Presenting the report, Ndume who commended the Senate President for initiating the process, said the report will improve the budgeting system that has been incoherent.

It also expressed the need to repeal and re-enact the 1958 Act to check the anomalies in relation to the fiscal year Part of the report include to amend the (FRA) to enlarge the list of stakeholders to be consulted during the budget preparation process , as well as pre-budget consultation between the National Assembly, the executive and the public.

Also recommended by the committee is enacting an organic budget law that puts together all laws relating to the budget, including a fixed and realistic budget calender and a pre- budget statement.The report equally recommended the strengthening of legislative oversight function in order to minimise the negative perception of the public on oversight performance.

In his remark, President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki while commending members of the committee noted that the report will be useful in preparing and considering the 2017 budget.

He said that all the aspects of the Act recommended for review were in dire need of the review and pledged the commitment of the National Assembly to be more transparent in budget processes.

Also speaking, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma said that the success of any budget depends of the collaborations between the Executive and the Legislature.

He assured that elements of the proposed reforms that could be immediately implemented would be implemented in the 2017 Budget.He called for more collaboration between the Executive and the Legislature, as the consideration of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework begins.

The Senate is now expected to sponsor a bill seeking to amend the Act in line with the recommendations as contained in the report.Recall that Saraki constituted a Technical Committee on Budget Reforms to produce a Budget Reform strategy paper and draft Budget Reform Bill.

The aim of the reform is to improve budget formulation, enactment, implementation, and monitoring evaluation with a view to improving budget performance.


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Ali NdumeBukola Saraki
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