Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila says that the 9th National Assembly will improve on “past imperfections” of annual national budgets to “leave a legacy of budgets enacted without rancour”.
Gbajabiamila said this at the close of 2020 budget presentation by President Muhammadu Buhari to a joint session of the National Assembly on Tuesday.
The speaker assured Nigerians that the 9th Assembly would implement the budget diligently and achieve the objectives of national development for which they were intended.
“There are significant flaws in the process of passage and implementation of our annual national budgets.
“Some of these problems are structural, others are a function of failures of process and inadequacies in attitude.
“We fully intend to return to a January to December budget cycle and to put an end to the policy instability and economic uncertainty that is a consequence of an unpredictable budget cycle,” he said.
He also said that the current National Assembly would make every effort to achieve constructive collaboration with the executive on all matters of appropriation, implementation and oversight.
“We recognise that our highest ambitions and the collective best interests of our nationhood can only be achieved when the legislature and the executive work together in pursuit of our shared ambitions.
“We will seek collaboration, but we will not yield on our constitutional obligation to ensure faithful compliance with the letter and spirit of the Appropriation Act by the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the government.
“Above all else, we will hold ourselves in the legislature and others, to the highest standards of probity because to fall short of excellence will be to betray the calling of leadership to which we all have answered,” he said.
President Muhammadu Buhari, accompanied by members of the Federal Executive Council, presented the Appropriation Bill of ₦10.33 trillion for the 2020 fiscal year to the National Assembly.
The president said that the 2020 budget was designed to be a budget of “Fiscal consolidation to strengthen our macroeconomic environment; Investing in critical infrastructure, human capital development and enabling institutions, especially in key job creating sectors.’’