By Ige Adekunle
Mr Muda Yusuf, the Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), on Friday condemned the late passage of 2017 appropriation bill.
Yusuf told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ota, Ogun, that this development was not good enough for the economy.
He said the appropriation bill was passed almost six months after it was presented to the National Assembly.
Yusuf appealed to the executive and the legislature to review the country’s budgetary processes to facilitate early passage of appropriation bills.
He said there was the need to review the age-old practice of late passage of appropriation bills and implementation of annual budgets.
” We need to get out of the practice of delayed budget.
”We should be conscious of time. The entire budgetary processes should be reviewed because there is no need allowing an annual budget to spill into the following year.
“The executive and the legislative should not manage the budgetary processes at their own pace because it is not good for the economy,” he said.
NAN reports that the National Assembly on Thursday passed the 2017 Appropriation Bill of N7.441 trillion nearly six months after it was presented to the assembly.
The budget is N143 billion higher than the N7.298 trillion proposed by the executive.
In the budget, N2.987 trillion was set aside as recurrent allocation, while capital allocation was N2.177 trillion
The LCCI boss said that there was the need for the two arms to bring efficiency and time consciousness into the budgetary processes because infrastructure suffered from delayed budget implementation.
He also said that delayed budget could cause uncertainties in the economy.
Yusuf urged the agencies responsible for preparation of annual budgets to do thorough jobs, while the National Assembly should pass them in record time.
He said that the appropriation bill should be assented to immediately except there were fundamental disagreements with the content of the budget.
Yusuf commended the current administration for its efforts to reduce the size of the nation’s recurrent expenditure.
According to him, the slight reduction in the recurrent expenditure is also commendable.
”The reduction is good because we have not gotten to where we can be spending over 70 per cent of the nation’s revenue on recurrent expenditure.
“What the country needs now are infrastructure that will grow the economy,” he said.