The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has called on the Senate and the House of Representatives to ensure prompt passage of the 2020 Appropriation Bill.
NECA Director-General, Mr Timothy Olawale, made the call Wednesday in Lagos while reacting to the presentation of the 2020 Appropriation Bill of N10.33 trillion to the joint session of the National Assembly by the President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday.
NECA is the umbrella organisation of employers in the organised private sector in the country.
Olawale said: “It is hoped that the legislators will do the needful by expediting action on treating the budget with the good of the citizenry as the sole driver.
“Our expectation is that the budget should be back to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent or comments on aspects that require tinkering with by mid-December.
“In so doing, by the first week of January 2020, the budget will be ready for implementation.”
He commended the president for presenting the budget early to the legislature, saying that there was room to further improve on the timeline.
“Beyond the presentation of the budget, greater commitment is expected from the legislators so that the budget will not suffer the usual padding controversy that can lead to unnecessary bickering between the presidency and NASS.
“No effort should be spared in returning the nation to January – December budgeting year.
“This is to facilitate proper monitoring and disciplined implementation of projects as enshrined in the budget for the good of the citizens,” Olawale said.
The director-general said that early passage of the budget was key to getting the country on the track of economic prosperity.
According to Olawale, there has to be a defined timeframe which should be religiously followed as seen in other countries.
“As stated by the president, priority should be given to ongoing projects before new ones are started.
“Also, a sound monitoring and evaluation mechanism must be clearly defined for the successful implementation of the budget when passed and signed into law,” Olawale said. (NAN)