President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged that his administration would effectively implement the budget in its bid to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people.
He gave the assurance in a speech on the occasion of the signing of the 2020 Appropriation Act into law on Tuesday at State House in Abuja.
“It is my pleasant duty, today, on my 77th birthday, to sign the 2020 Appropriation Bill into law,” the delighted President said.
He added, “Now, we are well-positioned to effectively implement the budget and deliver our promises to Nigerians.
“Businesses will also benefit as they are now in a position to plan more effectively. We have to sustain this harmonious working relationship. I expect that going forward, this will be the norm.”
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President Buhari commended the National Assembly for its “patriotic zeal” which he said has restored the nation’s budget cycle to a predictable January to December fiscal year.
According to him, it is the fourth time that the budget was passed before the end of the previous year and the earliest in the 20 years since the return to civilian rule.
The President revealed that he has directed that efforts be made to ensure the presentation of the 2021 Appropriation Bill to the National Assembly in September 2020.
“I am confident that all Federal Ministries, Departments, and Agencies will cooperate with the Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning to keep to this timeline.
“I will work with the Ninth National Assembly to give effect to the constitutional, legislative and other actions that may be necessary to address the various challenges currently associated with our federal budgeting process, including the enactment of an Organic Budget Bill,” he promised.
On the Finance Bill, President Buhari noted that the proposal would be passed by the lawmakers in the coming days.
He believes it would be a landmark achievement worthy of recognition as it is the first time such a thing has been done in the last 20 years.
The President added that his administration would sustain the tradition by ensuring that subsequent budgets were also accompanied by a finance bill.
He said, “We look forward to receiving this bill, shortly, for Presidential Assent. Once passed into law, the Finance Bill will support the funding and implementation of the 2020 Budget.”