Senate President Ahmad Lawan has assured Nigerians that the era of the slow passage of the nation’s budget by the national assembly has come to an end.
The Senate president said that the passage will henceforth occur within three months of its submission by the executive.
The Senate president said this while fielding questions from state house correspondents after he joined President Muhammadu Buhari to perform Friday’s Juma’at prayer at the Aso Rock mosque, Abuja.
“Well, this is a crucial thing that worries everyone, every Nigerian wants to see the national assembly pass the budget in good time and what we have in mind we’ve campaigned with that and it’s something both of us in the national assembly have bought into – that we’ll pass the budget within three months by the grace of God,” he said.
“But I want to say here that it takes two sides of government to pass the budget in good time. I am sure that the executive side of the government would like to present the budget before the national assembly in good time – in September or early October.
“By the grace of God, we in the national assembly will ensure that we carry out the budget defence and do the remaining parts of the processes and before we leave for Christmas break, the budget would have been passed and Mr President would have the budget before him to assent.”
According to Lawan, both the national assembly and the executive have to create “a window for budget defence only, a dedicated period and time-frame- say a month of which only budget defence will be carried out in the national assembly.
“It is our desire in the national assembly that every minister, every chief executive officer of every agency comes to the national assembly and defence the budget of his agency or her agency before going out of the country,” he said.
“That window is going to be available within the one month but that is the only window that is going to be available.
“After that for example, every minister or head of the agency who did not come to defend the budget of that institution, we will go ahead to work on such a budget appropriately.’’
“I believe that nobody would take pleasure in wasting the time of this administration, he added.
“We are in a hurry, we are thirsty to perform, we want to support Mr President, we want to see Mr President achieve those legacies dreams that he has and we are going to work full course and full time to ensure that we give him the maximum support that he requires.’’