Budgetary provisions must be transparent, well-funded, says Saraki
The Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, yesterday decried the implementation of the 2017 federal appropriation bill, saying budgetary provisions must be prepared with transparency and adequate funding in mind.
He harped on prompt release of funds, selection of contractors and completion of projects that directly impact on the lives of the people.
Saraki, who expressed his opinion ahead of the 2018 budget presentation by President Muhammadu Buhari to the joint session of the National Assembly yesterday in Abuja, warned that parastatals and agencies that fail to submit their votes along with the appropriation bill would be denied access to capital expenditure.
He said: “The budgets of parastatals and agencies are meant to be submitted with this budget presentation, as stipulated by the constitution. We must work to ensure that these are passed by the end of the year.”
Saraki noted that the implementation of the 2018 budget would be a defining element of the present administration. He said as the country gradually exits recession, it was important to reset the fundamentals that drive the economy to avoid a repeat of the unpleasant situation.
In his charge to the President, he said: “We appreciate the need to spend but we must ensure that our borrowing is targeted at productive projects that will stimulate the economy. We must ensure real value for money in the projects to be funded through borrowing, and make sure that they are not overpriced.”
The senate president advised the current administration to site infrastructure equitably in the six geopolitical zones as well harness the major city centres and drive the regeneration of the rural areas.
He stressed that the people must be able to see a future for themselves in every corner of this country, not only in the big cities.
Saraki enjoined that presentation of the budget should in no way dampen enthusiasm for the implementation of the 2017 document, adding: ‘Whatever needs to be done to ensure that we achieve close to full implementation of the budget is what must be done.”
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