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ICAN seeks framework to fast track budget passage, implementation

By on July 27, 2014

Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has called for development of a framework that will fast track the passage and implementation of budgets in the country.

“If we must develop as a nation, we need to revisit the budgeting processes in line with the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 and evolve an efficient framework that will ensure quick passage and effective implementation of budgets, said the President of ICAN, Mr. Chidi Ajaegbu, stating, “We therefore recommend that the National Assembly should pass a law to define the nation’s budget cycle with time lines.

The statutory budgeting cycle must be adhered to by all while disbursements of budgetary allocations must be timely and focused. We cannot spend huge resources to prepare beautiful annual budgets and medium term plans and continue to observe them in the breach. This will amount to working against the public interest which, certainly, the government was elected to protect.

“Since the public sector is still the biggest and driving sector of the economy, what it does or fails to do has severe implications for the entire economy. We therefore urge the government to scrupulously strive to implement this budget in the interest of Nigerians.”

Ajaegbu said these at One-Day Symposium on 2014 Budget of the Federal Government of Nigeria, organised by the Institute.

He added that one of the major challenges of the country over the years, in spite of its abundant resources, has been its continued poor economic performance, caused by irregular budget cycle, fiscal indiscipline, huge cost of governance, poor budgeting ethics, implementation processes and weak structures.

In particular, he pointed out that despite the huge budgets prepared annually by governments at various levels, there is not much to show for this as the low standard of living of the populace and the prohibitive cost of doing business in the country continue to indicate.

“While the thrusts of the 2014 budget are commendable, we note with dismay the undue delay in the passage of the Appropriation Act. Indeed, the nation has become used to the presentation of beautiful budget proposals to the National Assembly in November/December of each year, the passage of same in the second quarter of the year leaving the implementation to be in six or seven months, at best.