Early assent to 2020 budget projects Nigeria in sound financial footings — expert

Mr Momoh Aliyu, a financial expert says early passage and signing of the 2020 budget will project Nigeria in sound financial footings for the year.Aliyu said this while speaking with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday.

NAN reports that the the N10.594 trillion 2020 Budget passed by the National Assembly was on Tuesday assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Buhari while signing the estimates said he had examined the adjustments and might revert to the National Assembly with a request for a virement or other relevant amendments.

He, however, noted that the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning would make a public presentation of the details of the approved budget.Reacting to the signing of the 2020 appropriation bill by the president, Aliyu who is also a Managing Director of Cyber1 Systems Network International said the development had placed the country in a sound basis of performance appraisal.

“Nigeria’s Fiscal year has been 12 calendar months from January to December, but for quite some years, Nigeria lost this financial integrity and compliance.“It has been practically hard for organisations globally to match their budgets to the Nigeria business units.

“The private sectors in the country have been in the dark over the future of their businesses for every first quarter to second quarter in some instances,” he saidThe expert said that the Medium Term Expenditure Frame-work (MTEF) put in place by the government would clear criterial for performance monitoring and a means for strategy where necessary.Aliyu said with a 12 month fiscal calendar budget, the government should create a medium term sector strategy to constantly review the mid term expenditure framework.

According to him, this will gurantee sustainability by ensuring early and consistent presentation of the country’s budget and passage.Nigeria was used to the January-December budget cycle, until the return of democracy in 1999 when the two arms involved in budget preparation and approval brought distortion to bear.The practice was due to inadequacies on both legislative and executive arms of the government.

The delay in budgets process has done incalculable harm to the economy over the years because infrastructure projects, which catalyse economic developments had suffered late implementation.This trend has affected investments as investors often look up to the budget to plan. (NAN)