Senate President promises ‘diligent oversight’ of signed budget

Ugo Okoro, Abuja

Senate President Bukola Saraki shakes hands with President Buhari at the 2016 budget signing in Aso Rock Villa, Abuja

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has commended Nigerians for their patience while awaiting presidential assent to the 2016 Appropriation Act, and has promised that the “National Assembly will ensure its proper implementation through diligent oversight.”

Saraki had earlier on Friday, joined Speaker Yakubu Dogara and other top government officials in witnessing the signing of the budget into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said the responsibility of both the executive and the legislature was to ensure that the objectives and goals of the budget were duly realized.

He called on ministers, heads of departments and agencies to ‘hit the ground running’ with the implementation of the various provisions in the budget so that the expectations of Nigerians could be fulfilled.

“On our own part as members of the National Assembly, we will closely monitor the implementation of the budget by providing effective oversight. We will also ensure that all necessary laws that will aid the transformation of the contents of the budget into practical policies, projects and programmes that will directly have positive impact on Nigerians will be put in place.

That is why we have started the amendment of the Public Procurement Act to ensure that a substantial percentage of the money to be spent in the budget are made available to Nigerians through government patronage of Made-in-Nigeria goods and services,” Senator Saraki said.

The Senate President thanked Nigerians for their continued support for the present administration and promised that now that the budget has been signed into law people would start seeing a positive impact on the economy and their standard of living.

Saraki restated the National Assembly’s commitment to the early passage of subsequent budgets since the President had promised early presentations to the legislature.