To address the annual crisis that has ridiculed that nation’s budget implementation process, a budget expert, Prof Olaseni Akintola-Bello, has recommended the creation of a Budget Management law different from the Appropriation Act.
According to him the Budget Management Law will tell us what should be done at each stage when the budget is being presented and also make a provision for the development of a Supplementary Budget when the need arises.
Responding to the House of Representatives rejection of amending the 2013 Appropriation Act, Prof Akintola-Bello, explained that if there is a Budget Management Law in Nigeria, the bill will envisage and allow an amendment to an already passed budget or Appropriation Act.
“The Constitution is being amended now, so the Appropriation Act should also be subject to amendment” he quipped.
He enjoined both the legislative and executive arm of government to negotiate adequately to avert these intermittent spats and also called for the creation a Legislative Budget Office which must liaise regularly with the executive’s Budget Office. This according to Prof Akintola-Bello will enhance the level information of at the disposal of the lawmakers, who seem not to be informed.
The legislators and executive should know that “the budget is no longer a black box. It must be open to us all,” he added.
He noted that a need for supplementary budget can occur due to economic and price changes between the time it was planned and implemented, as its happening with the State of Emergency declared in a part of the country. Government did not plan for it and it will need to more money to execute the strategy.
Prof Akintola-Bello was a guest on Channels TV breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.