BoF, minister urge democratic accountability, budget process strengthening
The Budget Office of the Federation (BOF) has urged collaboration between the Executive and Judiciary to provide qualitative leadership as part of an effort aimed at strengthening the budget process and improving democratic accountability.
It stated this yesterday in Lagos at a maiden retreat.
Minister of State for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, noted that there is need to look at the appropriation process and have a deeper understanding of it and to foster good working relationship between the Executive and Legislature.
According to him, this is the first time in 20 years that we are having a budget running from January to December. Budget is a major tool for achieving development but it is not done in isolation. The budget concerns public funds, which brings the two arms of government – Executive and Legislature – to a decision table. The retreat provides the tool for assessing value for money in public spending with a focus on priority sectors, such as agriculture, health revenue management in the extractions and infrastructure.
Also, Director-General, BOF, Ben Akabueze, noted that a good relationship between Executive and Legislature could not be over-emphasised.
He said: “We intend to do a mid-year review where all assumptions would be revisited. We would also review the benchmark price.”
About N400 billion, he stated, had been released so far.
In his speech, the Executive Secretary, CABRI, Neil Cole, noted that issues to be discussed at the retreat include limitations and challenges with the current budget process, role of the legislature in budget oversight in Nigeria, the legislature and budget process in United States, budget preparation in Nigeria, role of the legislature in budget formulation and approval, among others.