THE Senate on Wednesday called for early preparation and submission of the 2019 budget by the Executive to enable the National Assembly to commence work on it without delay.
Chairman Senate Committee on Special Duties Senator Abdul`Aziz Murtala Nyako, made this known during an oversight function visit to the Special Duties Office (SDO) on 6 November 2018 at the Special Duties Office, Federal Secretariat Complex Abuja.
Nyako said their visit was to keep abreast of the performance and the implementation of the 2017 budget and monitor how the funds appropriated to the agency were being utilized for the year under review.
He lamented the delay in the release of funds which jeopardized the functions of the office in terms of monitoring and inspection of Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved projects and constituency projects, stating that this could amount to undue pressure on the part of management.
He applauded the management for utilizing the little resources allocated to the office while encouraging them to put in their utmost best in the implementation of projects as this year’s release was much lower than last year, noting that only 10% of the budget was released recently.
The Permanent Secretary Chief William Alo while giving a brief on the performance of the 2017 budget, appreciated the Senate Committee and his team while noting that his visit is in line with the theory of separation of powers between the executive and the legislative arm of government, checks and balances which is a prelude to ensuring good governance, accountability, due process and transparency.
He added that inadequate funding and late releases were responsible for non-execution of some of the projects planned for the year under review.
Chief Alo said that due to limited funds, instead of awarding contracts, the agency prioritized their activities and critically reviewed areas of needs such as monitoring of constituency projects, FEC approved projects, website management, the establishment of a library amongst other projects.
Present at the meeting were the Senate Committee Members on Special Duties and the management of Special Duties Office –OSGF.
The Special Duties Office has the mandate of monitoring the implementing of Federal Executive Council decisions (programs, policies and projects) submitted by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs): in addition to overseeing the implementation of zonal intervention/ constituency projects nationwide.