A supplementary budget to address the distortions on the 2018 Appropriation Act brought about by the extensive tinkering by the National Assembly should be drawn up quickly by the Presidency, the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has said.
Reacting to the 2018 budget signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, criticised the late passage of the budget, saying it is bad for the economy and country’s developmental aspirations for inclusive growth and sustainable development.
“It is particularly not helpful to the private sector, which government has acknowledged as the engine of growth and development of the economy.
“The budget is a fundamental framework for strategic planning and decision-making by both the public and private sector; as such, delays have far-reaching implications on the nation’s economy and the wellbeing of the people,” national president of NACCIMA, Chief Alaba Lawson, said in a statement on Wednesday.
“We wish to use this opportunity to reaffirm the need for the legislature and executive to devise consultative mechanisms that will ensure quick passage and accent of the yearly budget, which is a veritable guide to business operators to plan their yearly activities,” she said.
The group aligned with the observation of President Muhammadu Buhari on the reduction of allocations to important capital projects and urged the National Assembly to approve the supplementary budget the president has promised to forward to it.
“While we acknowledge the statutory role of the legislature in reviewing the budget presented by the executive, we counsel that these projects be reconsidered for approval as soon as Mr. President presents the supplementary budget to the legislature as promised in his speech,” Lawson stated.
While the supplementary budget is the works, she urged all ministries, departments and agencies of government to swing into action and implement the budget to make up for time already lost in the 2018 budget year.
While speaking shortly after he signed the budget on Wednesday, President Muhammadu Buhari accused the federal lawmakers of, among others, increasing the National Assembly budget from N125 billion to N139.5 billion, without any discussion with the executive.
Buhari also accused the lawmakers of making cuts amounting to N347 billion in the allocations to 4,700 projects submitted to them for consideration while introducing 6,403 projects of their own amounting to N578 billion.