Presidency tasks National Assembly on ending recession
• Seeks urgent passage of key agencies’ budgets
Timely passage of the 2016 budgets of key statutory agencies by the National Assembly would allow the Federal Government push the economy out of recession, the Presidency said yesterday.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in July submitted the budget estimates of 38 statutory agencies to the two chambers of the National Assembly for passage into law.
The agencies include: the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Inland Service and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
There is urgent need for passage of the budgets for the corporations and agencies because their total expenditure almost equals the amount spent yearly by the country, said Ita Enag, Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters.
He explained that the legislative action would “stimulate the economy,” as parastatals would in turn release money for the execution of many capital projects.
At a media briefing in Abuja, Enang said: “The vacancies created by retirement in each of these parastatals and new employable vacancies are determined by the budgetary requirement of the agencies. Therefore, the other rationale for this is to create, regulate and open up employment in the different parastatals.”
He added that passage of the budget would “increase non-oil revenue internally generated, as the agencies are required by the law to keep 20 per cent of their operational surplus and remit 80 per cent to the Federal Government.”
“The Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 requires that the budget of the agencies be laid before the Assembly by the President, in addition to, and independent of the annual Appropriation Act. It is a requirement of the law that the National Assembly, as a legislative body, considers and passes the budget,” said Enang.