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REVEALED: Why we are reviewing the budget – Nigerian Senate

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– The Senate leader, Ali Ndume, has said the ongoing budget review process will bring an end to recurrent problems in the country’s annual budget implementation

– He said it was high time major stakeholders ensured that the country’s budget processes  complied with international best practices

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– He commended the present administration for its commitment to the process

Senate majority leader, Ali Ndume

The leader of the Senate, Ali Ndume, has said that the ongoing budget review process was part of the  National Assembly’s commitment to bringing an end to recurrent problems in the country’s annual budget implementation.

Ndume, who is the chairman of the budget process review committee made this known while briefing newsmen shortly after the committee’s meeting in Abuja on Thursday, October 13.

He said it was high time major stakeholders ensured that the country’s budget processes  complied with international best practices.

“We are doing this to bring the best out of our budget processes, eliminate waste, introduce professionalism, increase transparency and accountability.

“It is subject to adoption and if adopted, will improve our budget process,’’ he said.

He commended the present administration for its commitment to the process, adding that it was the first time the executive and legislature were working on improving the nation’s budget process.

Ndume, who said the current review process was part of the 8th assembly’s agenda in ensuring sustainable development, added that the Senate will continue to interface with the executive to bring it to fruition.

Similarly, the director general of the budget office of the federation, Mr Ben Akabueze, said that the reform would help tackle problems often associated with the country’s annual budget planning and implementation.

He said the present administration was fully committed to ensuring that the mistakes of the past were corrected to move the country forward.

According to him, “this is a commendable initiative by the National Assembly as it attempts  to give the nation a budget law that will guide  the formulation, preparation, enactment and implementation of our annual budget.

“It is the way to go because that is how it is in some of the more advanced nations in the world.

“Surprisingly, this is a coincidence of thinking from the executive and the legislature because for instance even without a law, one of the things this law seeks to achieve which is to enact a budget calendar.

“For 2017 budget, the ministry of budget and planning actually took a calendar to the Federal Executive Council, which was approved and we are bound to follow that calendar.

The director general expressed optimism that if the report of the committee was adopted, it would ensure that going forward, budget planning would not be left to anybody’s discretion.

Recall that the Senate has given a final warning to the President Muhammadu Buhari, advising it to come clean on the budget and stop trying to cover up its errors.

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