National Budget Presentation By The President Is Comical:- HURIWA SAYS:

Describing the yearly presentation of budget to the full session of the National Assembly as a hollow ritual and a dramatization of political comedy with zero utilitarian value a call has gone to the National Assembly to amend relevant laws so only the minister of finance, Budget and National planning should do the budget presentation.

Making the observation is the prominent civil Rights body:- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) just as the group asked Nigeria to borrow idea from first World democracy such as Great Britain whereby the chancellor of Exchequer is responsible for the preparation and presentation of the budget to the parliament.

“We call on the National Assembly to see how their legislative times can be maximized for carrying out effective oversight responsibilities in federal agencies of government and ministries to compel compliance to procurement and appropriation laws and cover all the loop holes that are in place due to bureaucratic corruption which give way for leakages and heists of public fund by ministries and agencies of government”.

HURIWA recalled that in the U.K. budget is submitted to Parliament by the chancellor of the Exchequer, who is responsible for its preparation. The emphasis of the chancellor’s budget speech is on taxation and the state of the economy, rather than on the detail of expenditures; public discussion is devoted mainly to the chancellor’s tax proposals. The estimates of expenditures are sent to Parliament with less fanfare and are reviewed by the departmental select committees on estimates of the House of Commons. The reviews hardly touch matters of policy. While the committees do not amend the budget, they are influential through their criticism and advice.

The Rights group said that in Britain, In the preparation of the budget, the Treasury appears to have virtually complete authority over the government departments on matters of detail. Major issues are settled in Cabinet discussions, the records of which are not available. The British system thus vests extensive controls in the Treasury bureaucracy.

A major part of the budget speech by the chancellor of the Exchequer, HURIWA recalled is addressed to forecasts of employment, prices, and the balance of payments, together with a discussion of fiscal and monetary policies. Economic analysis is a continuing preoccupation of the Treasury. Forecasts are prepared three times a year, although only published once a year with little detail; a budget committee composed of important financial and economic officials meets continuously to discuss policy matters. Their attention, however, is focused on tax, borrowing, and monetary policies rather than on the details of government spending.”

HURIWA has also asked the National Assembly to compel both the independent corrupt practices and related offences commission (ICPC) and the public procurement Authority (PPA) to be up and doing to get the respective line agencies and federal ministries to be prudent with public fund and comply with extant procurement laws and if they fail to do that then ICPC must act decisively.

“We in HURIWA sees the presentation of the 2023 budget by President Muhammadu Buhari as political comedy with little or no positive impacts towards addressing the rising costs of living, high unemployment scarcity of petroleum and high inflationary trends because the Federal government officials are bereft of discipline, competency and are reckless with public finance.

Leave a Reply