Saraki Senate President promises quick passage of 2016 appropriation bill

Dr. Olubukola Saraki, President of the Nigerian Senate, yesterday at a joint session of the House, promised a quick passage of the 2016 appropriation bill presented to the House by President Muhammadu Buhari.

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Senate President, Bukola Saraki play

Senate President, Bukola Saraki

(Nairaland)
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Dr. Olubukola Saraki, President of the Nigerian Senate, yesterday at a joint session of the House, promised a quick passage of the 2016 appropriation bill presented to the House by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Senate President stated that members of the National Assembly are aware of the ongoing challenges in the country in terms of economy and security, and they are ready to pass the bill in order to ensure quick implementation of the proposed budget.

In his words, “On the budget we are willing and ready to provide the scrutiny necessary to pass only a budget that can be implemented comprehensively to the letter.

We are ready to move swiftly and speedily to pass the 2016 Appropriation Bill. The swift passage of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper already points to our commitment and resolve towards this.

Quoting Saraki further, “The 2016 budget must also be bold and pragmatic in providing transparent incentives and conducive environment that will prime private sector-led development, encourage local production and promote made in Nigeria goods.

I acknowledge that the task of implementing the budget is primarily that of the Executive. But our recent experience has shown that even with the best of intentions, too much discretionary powers over budget matters are inimical to accountability.

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It is also true that impunity and corruption thrive best when the democratic safeguards for checks and balances collapse and accountability institutions abdicate their responsibilities. In this regard, the eighth National Assembly intends to discharge our oversight responsibilities fully.

I, therefore, want to implore Your Excellency to support us in this important task by ensuring that members of your government promptly respond to invitations for clarifications when they are required to do so by the National Assembly.

Mr. President, if only half of the unfolding allegations regarding financial misappropriation under the previous administration are true, they would already be sufficient evidence of the dangers that we face when public officials treat accountability institutions with disdain and oversight activities with irritation.

I am confident that your avowed commitment to the rule of law and accountability would have no accommodation for such behavior. On our own side, we want to assure you that we shall only pursue that which is provided for by the laws and strictly within the ambit of the law."

Considering the reactions by stakeholders and Nigerian Citizens following the subsequent presentation of the bill by President Muhammad Buhari, one can only hope for a better 2016 for Nigerians.

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