Speaker of the House of Representatives, Abbas Tajuddeen, has told President Bola Ahmed Tinubu that as an experienced legislator and former governor, he has a deep knowledge of the problems hampering budget process in the country.
He stated this in his speech after the presentation of the N27.5 trillion 2024 budget by the president to the joint sitting of the National Assembly, on Wednesday.
He said, “I cannot conclude my remarks without highlighting some of the perennial problems that have hampered the budget process in Nigeria. These are well known to Mr. President, who is an experienced ex-legislator.”
“This has largely been due to challenges relating to budget enactment, budget implementation and budget oversight.
“Mr. President, it is a well-known fact that millions of our constituents are living through incredibly difficult times. For this reason, they also look to the Tinubu-led government to provide quick and sustainable solutions. The antecedents of the President and your track record in governance inspire a lot of hope in Nigerians. Mr. President, it is for this reason that we cannot afford to fail Nigerians. If anyone can change the rot and chart a new course for Nigeria, IT IS YOU! I have no doubt whatsoever that we can measure up to the expectations of Nigerians through your visionary leadership and the commitment of the National Assembly,” he said.
He noted that, although the government budget is an important tool for economic management and promoting growth and development, it has generally not met the expectations of improved service delivery and development.
“The well-known gaps in the various stages of the budget process underscore the need for budget reforms, including altering relevant sections of the Constitution and existing laws to strengthen the budget process and transform our budget into an authentic tool for development.
“For this reason, I propose enacting a Budget Act to strengthen the budget process and promote development outcomes. This is a well-established practice in democracies across the world.
“Mr. President, let me, on behalf of my colleagues in the National Assembly, assure you that we will give this bill the utmost priority it deserves. While we would give it accelerated consideration, we will diligently scrutinise it alongside Nigerians to ensure that when it is passed, it will be a budget that best addresses the most critical needs of our people.”