President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday affirmed that the passage of statutory budgets of government corporations and agencies by the National Assembly was vital to reviving the country’s economic fortunes and make life bearable for the citizenry.
President Buhari, who spoke through his senior special assistant on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, at a media briefing in Abuja, said passage of budgets of the agencies totaling 38 in number like the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, etc, would boost the economy.
Enang at the briefing said passing of budgets of the statutory corporations and agencies was a requirement of the law that must be carried out by the National Assembly.
According to him, the urgent need for the passage of the budget of the statutory agencies is imperative because the total expenditure of their collective budgets almost equals the total budget profile of the country which is N6.06trillion.
“Now, if the corporations and agencies’ budget is up to about N4 trillion that means we will be having a budget of about N10 trillion in the country to implement for this year and when approved, it will make additional money available in the economy with its positive multiplier effects,” he said.
Enang added that passing the budget of government corporations would also create and open up employment opportunities in different agencies and parastatals. He noted that the Federal Capital Territory Appropriation Act, which had been assented to by President Buhari, would also create job opportunities in formal and informal sectors of the economy.
“The Federal Capital Territory Appropriation Act, 2016, passed by the National Assembly has been assented to by Mr. President. “The legal implementation of the budget, therefore, comes into effect now, which will result in employment in the formal and informal sectors within the territory through projects implementation.
“Some Nigerians have asked questions as to the legal and legislative grounds for the laying of the budget of statutory corporations before the National Assembly for consideration and passage.
“The Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007 requires that the budget of the agencies among others be laid before the Assembles by Mr. President, in addition to, and ind “The rationale are: It is a requirement of the law that the National Assembly as a legislative body should consider and pass the budget of each of them.
“It is what is spent in the national budget together with the totality of the expenditure of the collective of the government corporations that amount to the total annual expenditure of the country.
“The vacancies created by retirement in each of these parastatals and the new employable vacancies are determined by the budgetary requirement of the agencies as will be approved by the National Assembly. Therefore, the other rationale for this is to create, regulate and open up employment in the different parastatals.
“It is also to stimulate the economy, in that there are so many capital project in the parastatals which when approved by the National Assembly, the parastatals will award thus releasing money and stimulate cash flow into the economy.
“It will also ensure accountability by the corporations because they will only raise and spend as approved by the National Assembly and will increase activism of the National Assembly in her oversight responsibility, because they will be overseeing implementation as approved, and know surplus revenue to capture for subsequent years appropriations.
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