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To Avoid Scandal, House Moves To Pass Budget Openly

To Avoid Scandal, House Moves To Pass Budget Openly

IN a bid to avoid a repetition of budget fraud allegations which plagued the 2016 budget, the details
of the 2017 N7.3 trillion budget would be debated and passed openly at plenary and during
proceedings by the House of Representatives.
House Speaker, Yakubu Dogara.
The Speaker of the House, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, in his welcome address at the resumption from the
Christmas/New Year recess tuesday, reiterated the House’s commitment to the budget reform
He described the 2017 budget as a major tool to rejig the national economy.
“We must brace up and work assiduously and conscientiously to give Nigerians a budget that will
not only lift us out of recession but kick start the needed expeditious journey into Nigeria’s
prosperity. We pledge to reform the budget process,” he said.
“To this end therefore, we would ensure that the procedure and process of consideration and
passage of the 2017 budget is transparent, inclusive and professionally handled. The details of the
budget should be debated and passed in plenary to avoid those needless pitfalls that normally
characterise the budget process,” Dogara added.
The practice before now was that budget details were debated at relevant committee levels, with
each committee presenting recommendations to the House at the plenary.
Dogara, three principal officers, and some committee chairmen had been accused of budget fraud by
a former Chairman of the Committee on Appropriation, Hon. Jibrin Abdulmumin, who accused them
of inserting projects in the 2016 budget.
Each item in the 2017 budget would therefore be discussed openly at plenary for approval or
rejection by the lawmakers.
The Speaker in his address harped on the need for passage of critical bills for economic stimulation,
before active politicking starts.
He listed the bills to include Public Procurement Act amendment, Federal Competition Bill and
Petroleum Industry Bill.
“The recent fiscal measures including import prohibition of certain items and the increase or
decrease of tariff on some items should receive appropriate legislative scrutiny to ensure that the
economy and the interests of our people are protected. We must ensure that we take no prisoners in
accomplishing this task,” Dogara said.

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