Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), an umbrella body of governors elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), has lauded the return of the country to the January-December budget cycle, which it believes will enthrone predictability and certainty in public financial management, macroeconomic projections and project execution.
The Chairman of PGF and the Governor of Kebbi State, Abubakar Bagudu, in a statement yesterday, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the 2020 Appropriation Bill of N10.59 trillion and setting a new record in Nigeria’s budgetary process.
He said: “This is the first time since the inauguration of democracy two decades ago that the federal budget is signed before the end of the previous year. The Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) commends Mr. President for this historic feat and restoring the natural budget cycle, thereby enthroning predictability and certainty in public financial management, macroeconomic projections and project execution.”
Bagudu noted that even the critics of the present administration cannot contradict the fact that this development is an important democratic milestone.
He added that it signposts a healthy synergy between the executive and legislative arms of government towards the attainment of good governance in Nigeria.
The APC governors also commended the leadership of the National Assembly for passing the Appropriation Bill on a record time of less than two months.
The PGF chairman stressed that the feat was a reflection of the commitment of the leadership of the Senate and the House of Representatives to the APC Next Level agenda and the resolve to cooperate with the executive on critical matters that border on the national interest.
The PGF also expressed its commitment to a stable polity and economy, adding, “we see this new dawn in our budgetary process will also have a positive bearing on the management of the budgets of state governments in terms of predictability of our financial projections and coordination of policies between the subnational entities and the central government.”
Bagudu said the PGF, in addition to making input at the monthly National Economic Council (NEC) meeting, would continue to collaborate with the federal government in order to stimulate positive public understanding and perception of the key issues and benefits in the budget.
Meanwhile, the Young Parliamentarians Forum (YPF) has described the timely passage of the 2020 budget as a result of hard work and commitment by both the legislative and the executive arms of government.
The forum in a statement jointly signed by its Chairman, Hon. IbrahimTukura and the Vice-Chairman, Hon. Babajide Obanikoro, yesterday said the National Assembly would play its critical role of oversight to promote transparency and accountability in the budget implementation process.
The forum comprises lawmakers below the age of 45 years in the Senate, House of Representatives, state legislatures and local government councils.
While commending the efforts of Buhari and the leadership of the National Assembly, the forum expressed confidence that the feat achieved would usher in a new chapter in the relationship between the executive and the legislature.
The lawmakers noted that the government has ensured a seamless implementation exercise by passing the budget in December, thereby returning the country to the January-December budget cycle.
The forum sated: “The Young Parliamentarian’s Forum of the 9th National Assembly commends President Muhammadu Buhari, leadership, members and management of the National Assembly for the passage of the 2020 annual budget in December, 2019. The timely passage of the budget was a result of hard work and commitment of the executive and leadership and members of the National Assembly in delivering dividends of democracy to the citizens.
“By passing the budget in December, the government has ensured that the budget returns to the January to December budget cycle to promote a seamless implementation exercise.
“We are confident that this achievement would usher in a new chapter in the relationship between the executive and the legislature that would be collaborative and mutual. We wish to put on record the timely signing into law of the 2020 budget by President Muhammadu Buhari is commendable and capable of building confidence and a healthy working relationship between the executive and legislature.”