Governors on the platform of the All Progressives Congress have commended President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly over the smooth process of formulation, passage and signing of the 2020 budget.
The governors in a statement, ”New Legacy in Nigeria Budgetary Process”, signed by Kebbi State governor and Chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum, Atiku Bagudu described the harmonious relationship between the Executive and Legislative arms as unprecedented.
It noted that the return to the January- December budget cycle was a reflection ”of the commitment of the leadership of the Senate and the House of Representatives to the APC Next Level Agenda and the resolve to cooperate with the executive on critical matters that border on the national interest”.
The statement read in part: ”On Tuesday, December 17, 2019, Mr President, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR assented to the 2020 appropriation bill of N10.594 trillion, and by so doing setting a new record in Nigeria’s budgetary process. This is the first time since the inauguration of democracy two decades ago that the federal budget is signed before the end of the previous year. The Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) commends Mr President for this historic feat and restoring the natural budget cycle, thereby enthroning predictability and certainty in public financial management, macroeconomic projections and project execution.
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”It is on record that the 2020 Federal Government Budget proposals of N10.33 trillion tagged “Budget of Sustaining Growth and Job Creation” was presented before a joint sitting of the National Assembly on October 8, 2019, earlier than any President had done in the annals of our democracy. This is simply another Next Level accomplishment.
”Even critics of the present administration cannot contradict the fact that this development was an important democratic milestone. It signposts a healthy synergy between the executive and legislative arms of government towards the attainment of good governance in Nigeria. Certainly, this is the Next Level our people are all looking forward to.
”The PGF congratulates Mr President for achieving this important milestone in our budgetary process. The PGF also commends the 9th National Assembly Leadership that received and passed the Appropriation Bill on a record time of fewer than two months.
”This feat is a reflection of the commitment of the leadership of the Senate and the House of Representatives to the APC Next Level Agenda and the resolve to cooperate with the executive on critical matters that border on the national interest.
”The Progressive Governors Forum would always support this harmonious relationship between both arms of government at the Federal level in carrying out their constitutional responsibilities in the interest of the Nigerian people. We remain committed to a stable polity and economy, and we see this new dawn in our budgetary process will also have a positive bearing on the management of the budgets of state governments in terms of predictability of our financial projections and coordination of policies between the subnational entities and the central government.
”Accordingly, the PGF, in addition to making input at the monthly National Economic Council meeting, would continue to collaborate with the Federal Government so as to stimulate positive public understanding and perception of the key issues and benefits in the budget which in itself is a milestone of transparency by APC led government in a bid to fulfil its campaign promises. Through our engagements with the leadership of the National Assembly, we would also continue to provide all needed support to enhance the already existing synergy between both the executive and legislative arms of government. We will continue to draw lessons from President Muhammadu Buhari’s leadership and take all the necessary steps to replicate it in our respective states.”