Senate president, Ahmed Lawan, has assured Nigerians that the ninth National Assembly will be very focused, united, patriotic and nationalistic.
He disclosed that government agencies will have only one window to defend budget.
On the timely passage of budget bill, the senate president said, “well, this is a crucial thing that worries everyone, every Nigerian wants to see the National Assembly passes the budget in good time and what we have in mind we’ve campaigned with that and it’s something both of us in the National Assembly have bought into – that we’ll pass the budget within three months by the grace of God. But I want to say here that it takes two sides of government to pass the budget in good time and I am sure that the executive side of the government would like to present the budget before the National Assembly in good time – in September or early October and by the grace of God we in the National Assembly will ensure that we carry out the budget defence and do the remaining parts of the processes and before we leave for Christmas break, the budget would have been passed and Mr President would have the budget before him to sign.
“This requires sacrifice on the legislative and the executive arm of the government that we create a window for budget defence only, dedicate a period and timeframe- say a month of which only budget defence would be carried out in the National Assembly. It is our desire in the National Assembly that every minister, every chief executive officer of every agency comes to the National Assembly and defend the budget of his or her agency before going out of the country. That window is going to be available within one month but that is the only window that is going to be available. After that for example, every minister or head of agency who did not come to defend the budget of that institution, the National Assembly would go ahead to work on such a budget appropriately.
“We also hope to have a National Assembly that will work with the executive arm of government in a partnership and synergy to ensure that we perform our functions as a government because we are a single unit. I also foresee a National Assembly that will insists that whoever has a responsibility in government performs that responsibility because, it takes all of us to work together to ensure that no part or nobody is left behind.
“If there is anyone that is deficient it would cost the system. So we are going to work very hard, we would like to catch up the lost grounds over the last four years. I am sure we did not perform to our capacity as a National Assembly in the last Assembly. This time around we want to perform to full capacity and by the grace of God Nigerians will see a positive difference in terms of delivery of service to our country men and women.”