An economist, Kola Ogunleye has kicked against perceived moves by the National Assembly to transfer the budgeting office from the Ministry of Finance to that of National Planning.
Speaking on Channels Television’s programme, Business Morning, Mr Ogunleye said constitutional, the power to supervise the budgeting process rest on the Finance Minister.
The Senate is seeking a law that will move the budget office from the Ministry of Finance to that of National planning or to make it autonomous arguing that the finance ministry is already overburdened.
Mr Ogunleye however said, “As it stands today, they cannot do that if they have to take cognizance of the constitutional provisions in so far as finance responsibility is concern.”
The economist agreed with the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who on Tuesday expressed stiff opposition to the moves by the Senate to remove the Budget Office from her ministry.
She said this while speaking at a public hearing organised by the Senate Joint Committees on National Planning, Economic Affairs and Poverty Alleviation and Finance on review of national planning and budgeting process in Nigeria.
Mrs Okonjo-Iweala maintained that the Nigeria’s economy was public sector-driven and, as such, it would be disingenuous to remove the Budget Office from the Finance Ministry because people watch and monitor every item in the budget.
What was in operation in Nigeria, she said, was unlike what obtained in the United States of America (USA), where the economy was private sector-driven and, therefore, it would make more sense that the Budget Office was embedded in the structure of the economy as a macro-economic policy.