Why the decision by the Senate to stay the passing of the 2018 budget is a good move

The passage of 2018 budget is no longer feasible as it is riddled with inconsistencies according to the Senate.

Senator Barnabas Gemade (Benue North East) said, “It is important to have the appropriation Bill go for 3rd reading, the executive arm of Government is not ready for the budget to be passed”. 

We are lawmakers, not lawbreakers. We must have to read the MTEF 4 months before looking at the budget and a minimum of 50 percent of the budget should be passed before the year runs out. There is no correlation between the 2017 budget and the coming 2018 budget“, said Senator Mao Ohuabunwa.

Senator Solomon Adeola (Lagos West) said, “How can we consider the 2018 budget when we cannot get the performance of the 2017 budget? There is no need for us to be in a hurry, the executive arm is not ready for the budget to be passed. Ministry of Power and some MDAs came unprepared“.

It was clear the 2017 budget would be rolled over, there is no relationship between the 2017 and 2018 budget. We need to strengthen the capacity of our treasury, no kobo was paid by NNPC in 2016 and 2017 which is leaving our revenue hanging” – Senator Dino Melaye.

What we think: When a budget is passed late, it should have a timeline of twelve months and when a new budget comes up, we just have to question the apparent intention to waste resources.

In Nigeria, the passing of budgets just seems like a ‘ritual’.

This ritual is such that Ministries come up with a new budget for another year, fixing up the same money in the previous budget for the same project, leaving room for non-transparency, corruption, impunity.

The Senate has therefore made a good decision with identifying the discrepancies inherent in the 2018 and said it cannot be passed.

The best solution actually is to create a supplementary budget until the projects in the previous budget are done.

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