Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has stated the resolve the National Assembly to ensure exhaustive scrutiny of the 2022 budget proposals presented by President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday.
While assuring of the commitment of the National Assembly to give the budget accelerated consideration, Gbajabiamila said the next two to three months will be for the strictest scrutiny of the budget estimates.
“I am confident that the National Assembly will give this Appropriation Bill the prompt consideration it demands”, the speaker said in his remarks at the joint session.
Sounding a note of warning to government establishments that the planned accelerated consideration will not stop the questions for accountability, the speaker said: “Let me use this opportunity to say to the heads of ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria that the determination of the National Assembly to deliver a timely budget will not derogate from our responsibility to ensure exhaustive consideration of the bill.
“We will demand a thorough accounting for the funds previously appropriated, disbursed and expended. And we will take steps to hold to account those who fail to provide the records we need to make informed decisions on the Appropriation Bill. This is the responsibility of the National Assembly, and we will live up to it”.
He said the reforms introduced by the 9th Assembly in the appropriations process, “including establishing a January to December budget cycle, improving oversight procedures, and ensuring greater fidelity to the letter and spirit of our appropriation laws, have led to measurable improvements in public infrastructure, access to education and housing, healthcare and transportation, amongst others.
“These improvements, which have had a positive impact on the lives of millions of Nigerians across the country, inspire us to do more,” adding that innovations in technology, the changing nature of global trade, the challenges of cross-border insecurity and the increasing interdependence of nations have continued to “present challenges we must overcome and opportunities we must embrace.”