Presidency lauds Senate over Budget reform

 By Edwin Akwueh, Abuja

The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki has been commended for initiating the reform of Nigeria’s budgeting process.

Giving the commendation, the presidency said it fully support the move.

Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr. Udoma Udo Udoma says “this initiative of Your Excellency, the Senate President, is an initiative that has the full support of the executive. We believe that the budget and the budget process is something that we have to work on together closely and collaboratively.’’

“Consequently, your initiative to look at the reform of the process is an initiative that we welcome and that is why the Director General of the Budget Office, with my authority, participated fully in the deliberations. 

“As the Senate leader indicated, the success of any budget depends on very close collaboration between the executive and the legislature. I believe that this process that you have embarked on and the reforms will help to smoothen some of the issues that arise from time to time when we are considering the budget,” he said.

The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki described the report of the Technical Committee on the Budget Reform Process in Nigeria, as one of the most important exercises of the Senate so far.

Dr Saraki commended the Committee for complying with the stipulated time frame for the exercise.

He also commended the Minister of Budget and National Planning for his participation in the processes that led to the report, saying, “I think as a country, what we are doing today is long overdue for us to have reviewed the budget process. I think we are truly building a solid foundation for the years ahead. 

Laws and processes
” I agree that the recommendations require the review of certain laws but I think there are some of them that have to do with processes. I think we can immediately begin to implement those that has to do with processes.

“As we all know, for many years, this had been an area of acrimony and disaffection between the two arms of government which is mainly due to ambiguities in some of the laws and processes,” Dr Saraki said.

The Senate President specifically noted the recommendation in the report dealing with pre-budget participation of the public in the process as he said “there was really very little participation of the public in the process.”

 “We have public hearings on so many things but the most important law that we have to pass has very little participation of the public. I am happy it was captured in this report that even when we do the review of the budget, the public should also participate,’’ he added.

Mercy Chukwudiebere