Budget Management Office Establishment Bill passes Second Reading
Gloria Essien, Abuja
A Bill to establish the office of budget management and provide a legal framework for budget process management in Nigeria has scaled through second reading in the House of Representatives.
The bill is titled, “A Bill for an Act to Establish the Office of Budget Management of the Federation and provide a Legal Framework for Budget Process Management in the Federal Government of Nigeria to ensure effective Regulation of Budget Preparation, Presentation, Implementation and Auditing; and for Related Matters (HB. 2063)”
Also, the Bill is sponsored by the Speaker of the House, Rep Femi Gbajabiamila and Rep Henry Nwawuba.
The Bill provides that the Office shall have the general duty to prepare the annual budget proposal for presentation to the National Assembly by the President.
It also provides that the Office shall, “Supervise the implementation of the budget by ministries, departments and agencies of the federal government to ensure compliance with the law and policies of the administration;
“Evaluate the effectiveness of programs, policies, and procedures of the ministries, departments and agencies of the federal government to ensure consistency with governing priorities; Provide budget function, implement budget and fiscal policies of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“Improve the budget process by imposing compliance with strict timelines for the Budget process in the National Assembly; Apply concrete indicators to measure the performance of the annual budget to ensure delivery of the expected development outcomes as set out in various development plans.
In addition, to “oversee the implementation of the budgets of the federal government to ensure accuracy and fiscal transparency; Approve the withdrawal of statutorily approved funds from the Federation accounts for the purpose of implementing the appropriations law of the federal government.
“Provide quarterly reports of budget performance and implementation to the National Assembly; and Perform all other functions incidental to the effective management of the budget process in the Federal Government of Nigeria.
It also provides that there shall be a Director General of Budget, who shall be appointed by the President to hold Office for a period of six years and shall not be eligible for re-appointment.
The Director General shall have the power to authorise withdrawals from the Federation Accounts and any other public fund which by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or an Act of the National Assembly requires approval of the President for withdrawal from that fund, the Bill stipulated.
Other functions of the Director General include making recommendations to the President and the National Assembly on measures to improve budget implementation in accordance with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and extant statutes; and reviewing from time to time, the formats of requisitions and approvals of withdrawals of funds from the accounts of the Federal Government of Nigeria subject to conditions as set out in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Acts of the National Assembly.
The Director General shall enforce limits on budgetary expenditure set by the National Assembly; and perform any other function that may be assigned by an Act of the National Assembly.