Budget defence: Senate warns MDAs against sabotaging 2024 Budget cycle

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 Senate says it will not tolerate lackadaisical attitudes from government functionaries in Ministries, Departments And Agencies (MDAs) in relation to their defence submissions.

The parliarment said it was committed to maintain the January  to December cycle of implementation of the budgetPresident of Senate, Godswill Akpabio gave the warning in Abuja on Tuesday at a one-day retreat on 2024 Appropriation Bill.

The retreat, organised by the Senate committee on appropriations, has the theme: “Budget and budgetary processes: Delivering improved outcome of 2024 Appropriation Bill.

”Akpabio, represented by Deputy President of Senate, Barau Jibril, said the consequences of sabotaging the envisaged passage of the 2024 budget by any top official of any MDA would not be palatable for the official or agency in the eventual passage of the bill.

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He said the 2024 appropriation bill was undoubtedly an event of significant national importance.He said the importance was rooted in the fact that it was another step in the 10th National Assembly’s commitments to ensure an all-inclusive budget process for greater national good and achieve the nation’s commitment to the budget cycle.He commended the chairman and members of the appropriation committee, to open up the 2024 budget process for stakeholders’ engagement and feedback through the one-day retreat.

Akpabio said stakeholders gathered were in the business of making sacrifices on behalf of the people and committed to brainstorming, researching and proffering various suggestions and solutions on behalf of the Nigerian populace.He expressed confidence that such continuous partnership and deliberations would add substantial value to the nation’s legislative work of enacting laws for good governance and the interest of the people.He also commended all relevant state and non-state actors for their interests and sacrifices in ensuring that the participatory processes of public engagements, geared towards a better outcome of the law-making were smoothly executed.“We understand that the budget is about fiscal targets, resource allocation, public expenditure policy, productivity and efficiency.“We also understandthat the process is one of passage, mobilisation and execution, as well as,effective monitoring and evaluation.”Akpabio urged stakeholders to be open-minded, honest and factual in their deliberations.He said there was need to understand that Nigerian’s had a common goal, which was to drastically improve socio-economic condition of the people in the shortest period with the budget of renewed hope.He expressed confidence that the retreat would be productive.Prof. Ayo Tariba, a resource person and an economist from University of Ibadan, who delivered a short lecture on identification of processes to guide the desired achievement in 2024 budget, gave an appraisal of 2023budget and 2024 proposals.He said the attainment and surpassing of the revenue for 2023 as at September, was unprecedented and a great achievement for the current administration.He said this was an indication that the projected N18 trillion expected revenue in the 2024 budget was realistic.Tariba also advised that tax revenue generation should not be the main focus of government towards revenue generation.Tariba said efforts should be tailored to leverage on non tax revenue, asset revenue generation, with specific areas to attract foreign direct investments to increase revenue streams to the nation.He said every MDA needed to develop a workable window for creating opportunities for inflow of domestic and foreign direct investments for sustainable revenue generation.According to him, every MDA should know and understand the processes, to reassure investors of risks mitigation.This, he said, would result in business deals that would ultimately yield the desired finances for the nation’s budgetary needs.Tariba said there was need for more improvements of the capital component of the budget and improve on its asset, and attract foreign direct investments.Earlier, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Sen. Solomon Adeola, said the retreat would afford stakeholders the opportunity to contribute meaningfully towards the realisation of the renewed hope budget 2024.He said the National Assembly was committed to ensuring that there was value for every fund appropriated in 2024 Budget