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Senate plans round-table to review budget processes, national planning

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Senate plans round-table to review budget processes, national planning

Ahmad Lawan

Senate on Thursday resolved to organise a round-table to review the Nigeria’s budgeting practices as well as national planning process, with a view to creating a more synergized and collaborative system that is both effective and efficient.
Consequently, it mandated its Committee on National Planning to, as soon as possible, hold the round- table discussion in conjunction with the Committees on Appropriations, and Finance.
The resolution was sequel to the adoption of a motion to that effect moved by Senator Stella Oduah (PDP Anambra North) for the establishment of a visionary budget-driven and national planning framework for the country.
Presenting the motion, she said every budget should be on how to move the country forward and not a disjointed budget without a vision of prioritising the needs of the people based on the needs of the people.
“Budget planning should have a bipartisan approach to avoid a waste of the already scarce resources”, she explained, adding that the legislative intervention is to ensure that budgets last the test of time.
Seconding the motion, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC Niger North), said it was the absence of political will that made it impossible to have a visionary national planning and bring it  to bear good intentions in the country.
He explained that this lack of political will has also resulted in several abandonment of projects in each budget year.
In her contribution, Senator Aishatu Ahmed (APC Adamawa Central), said that visionary budget-driven is a necessity, noting that the absence of this bred poverty and insecurity.
She further explained that most budgets are not visionary driven and results in policy somersaults, pointing out that the legislature has only an over sight duties and not to implement budgets.
Also, Bassey Akpan (PDP Akwa Ibom North East), said that the most budget are not feasible because they did not support the vision or focus of the budget because there is no connection to the need of the people.
He also blamed the lack of focus of  the abandoned projects in the country on lack of adequate planning, while canvassing for budget planning that  must be very strategic.
In his own, Senator Barau Jibrin (APC Kano North), who is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, said that it has become a problem when brilliant heads put forward national developmental plan, but lamented that there is no continuity in national planning.
He also blamed absence of visionary budgets on corruption and lack of funding, stating that the National Assembly must find solutions to this issue of lack of vision in budget planning.
Also, chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Solomon Adeola (APC Lagos West), said that Nigeria need to do positive things to develop the country, stating that any nation that fails to plan is heading for failure.
He said that planing is imperative for growth, but lamented that funding is a big problem to the implementation of the budgets.
Apart from this,  he said that the Senate committee on appropriation should lease with Ministry of Finance on how to get funds and thereby ensure a visionary budget.
But Senator Ibikunle Amosun (APC Ogun Central) said the problem is not in ideas but in implementations, stating , “we need the political will to ensure following up and continuity”.
“As a legislative arm,  we need to force the implementation and continuity and strengthen the over sight functions of the National Assembly”, he said.
Also contributing, Senator Elisha Abo (PDP Adamawa North) said that the problem of budgeting in Nigeria is because it is top to bottom approach which negates the very need of the peoples need, wondering why someone in Abuja will make a budgetary provisions for people in the rural areas without knowing the needs of the area.

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