Reps move to compel President to lay budget estimates by September

• Propose 2 years jail term, N5m fine for erring public officer

The House of Representatives, on Tuesday, passed through Second Reading a bill which seeks to compel the President or his representative to present the annual budget proposal as an Appropriation Bill to a joint session of the National Assembly not later than the second week of September in each financial year.

This was contained in section 16 of the private members’ bill and was co-sponsored by the Speaker, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila and Hon Henry Nwawuba which provides for the establishment of the ‘office of Budget Management of the Federation and to provide a legal framework for budget process management in the Federal Government of Nigeria to ensure effective regulation of budget preparation, presentation, implementation and auditing, and for related matters’.

The Office is also saddled with the general duty of preparation of annual budget proposal for presentation to the National Assembly by the President.

It further provides that the Office shall “supervise the implementation of the budget by ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government to ensure compliance with the law and policies of the administration.

“Evaluate the effectiveness of programs, policies, and procedures of the ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government to ensure consistency with governing priorities.

“Provide a budget function, implement budget and fiscal policies of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“Improve the budget process by imposing compliance with strict timelines for the Budget process in the National Assembly.

“Apply concrete indicators to measure the performance of the annual budget to ensure delivery of the expected development outcomes as set out in various development plans, oversee the implementation of the budgets of the federal government to ensure accuracy and fiscal transparency.

“Approve the withdrawal of statutorily approved funds from the Federation accounts for the purpose of implementing the appropriations law of the federal government.

“Provide quarterly reports of budget performance and implementation to the National Assembly, and perform all other functions incidental to the effective management of the budget process in the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

It also provides that there shall be a Director General of Budget who shall be appointed by the President to hold Office for a period of six years and shall not be eligible for re-appointment.

The Director General shall have the power to authorise withdrawals from the Federation Accounts and any other public fund which by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or an Act of the National Assembly requires approval of the President for withdrawal from that fund.

Other functions of the Director General include making recommendations to the President and the National Assembly on measures to improve budget implementation in accordance with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and extant statutes, and reviewing from time to time, the formats of requisitions and approvals of withdrawals of funds from the accounts of the Federal Government of Nigeria subject to conditions as set out in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Acts of the National Assembly.

The Director General shall enforce limits on budgetary expenditure set by the National Assembly; and perform any other function that may be assigned by an Act of the National Assembly.


Clause 11 further provides that the Minister responsible for Finance shall, not more than a week following the presentation of the Appropriation Bill, publish the details of the Appropriation Bill and the Budget Report to the public.

Clause 12 also provides that “all Institutions of government shall, in compliance with the Fiscal Responsibility Act, formulate their budget for the fiscal year for submission to the relevant authority for incorporation into the National Budget not later than the first week of July in each financial year.”

Clause 13 further stipulates that: “Three months after the commencement of this Bill, every Ministry, Department and Agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria shall designate a Budget Certifying Officer who shall be responsible for submission of budget estimates to the Office.”

Clause 14 provides that: “Every Ministry, Department and Agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria shall submit its budget to the Office not later than the first week of July in each financial year.”

Clause 15(1 & 2) further provides that: “The Office shall submit the consolidated budget proposal to the Minister responsible for Finance not later than the first week of August in each financial year.

“The Minister responsible for Finance shall submit the consolidated budget proposal to the President and the Federal Executive Council not later than the second week of August in each financial year.”

Clause 17 provides that: “The Minister responsible for Finance shall, not more than a week following the presentation of the Appropriation Bill, publish the details of the Appropriation Bill and the Budget Report to the public.”

In the bid to ensure compliance, Clause 24(a & b) provides that: “A person who without justification or lawful excuse, obstructs, hinders, assaults or threatens the Director General or their members of staff acting under this Act; knowingly submits false or misleading information; or knowingly misrepresents to or misleads the Director General or a member of his or her staff acting under this Act, commits an offence and is liable, or conviction, to a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years, a fine of N5 million or both.”

Clause 25 also provides that: “It shall be an offence for any person to provide, offer, unlawfully solicit, or accept anything of value for the direct or indirect benefit of a current or former employee of a public authority or a current or former public official, or any related or associated person, wholly or partly for the purpose of influencing a decision affecting the budget process or the use or expenditure of any public money; and take any action, or to express or indicate a readiness to take any action, for the purpose of intimidating or harming physically, financially, or otherwise any person wholly or partly for the purpose of influencing a decision on the budget process or the use or expenditure of any public money.”

ALSO READ FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

Reps move to compel President to lay budget estimates by September

Reps move to compel President to lay budget estimates by September

Reps move to compel President to lay budget estimates by September


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