Senate President advocates law for budget cycle
• Canvasses Amendment Of Public Procurement Act 2007
President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, has underscored the need to have a budget reform that will include a law on timeliness in budget passing.
Speaking on ‘Reforming the Budget Cycle: A First Step in Our Journey to the Next Level’ at the Government Meets Business Dinner of the Institute of Directors (IoD) Annual Conference in Abuja on Thursday night, he said, “We can reform our budget cycle if there is a law on timeliness for budget passing.”
Lawan said timelines and deadlines would give leaders focus and make deliverables more definite.Reports, according to the number three citizen, have shown that countries like the United States of America, Canada, Austria, Brazil, France and India have more definite budget cycles through legislation.
“We have resolved to be reform-minded in the ninth National Assembly, and improving the budget cycle is one area of focus.“Our attention will be on the areas where enhancements are needed and we are surely not going to look away from them in the interest of national growth, development and well-being of our people,” Lawan said.
The Senate president expressed the importance of improving on the database showing the socio-economic conditions of the country.He stated that a database would be more helpful for the appreciation of financial projections notwithstanding the current efforts by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and some multilateral agencies showing the sectoral performances of the economy.
Calling for the amendment of the Public Procurement Act 2007, he added: “We are of the firm belief that the act has not provided the intended efficacy it should produce.
“Related to this is the need to match budget projections with fund release, if accountability is to be appreciable.“Proper documentation of financial activities and reduced political interventions in the budgetary process are additionally important steps to follow.“We should try to reduce frivolous items on the recurrent expenditure list to increase our disposition to produce, ensure judicious expenditure process and guarantee value-for-money.”