President of the Nigerian Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on Friday spoke on the need for a law that will ensure timeliness for budget passage in Nigeria.
He spoke at a business meeting of the Institute of Directors’ Annual Conference in Abuja.
Speaking on the theme “Reforming the budget cycle: A first step in our journey to the Next Level,” Lawan listed countries like the United States (US), Canada, Austria, Brazil, France and India to have a more definite budget cycles through legislation.
He added that timeliness and deadlines would give leaders focus and make for more definite on deliverables.
“We can reform our budget cycle if there is a law on timeliness for budget passing.
“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,” he said.
Lawan also noted that it was necessary to improve on database showing the social-economic conditions of the country.
He said a database would be more effective for the appreciation of financial projections, than the current National Bureau of Statistics and some multilateral agencies efforts which show sectoral performances of the economy.
The senate president said that the Public Procurement Act 2007 has not provided the intended efficacy it should produce. He therefore called for its amendment.
He added, “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 to guarantee value-for-money.”
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