2011 Budget: Senate, Executive On Collision Course Over Delay

Source: EMMA UCHE - thewillnigeria.com

ABUJA, Nov 04, (THEWILL) - The Senate and Executive arm of government may be headed for a major showdown over the delay in presenting the 2011 Budget bill.

The Senate today expressed worry that less than two months to the end of the year, the presidency is yet to do anything that suggests that it would present the 2011 budget for deliberation this year.

The Senate however warned that such delay would not in any way deter it in doing a thorough work on the proposal when it is eventually sent.

Senate spokesman, Senator Ayogu Eze (PDP, Enugu North) made this known at a press conference today after the plenary. He said the Senate expects the executive to hasten up the process of preparing the budget estimates in order to avoid late passage.

"It is desirable if the executive can conclude work on the 2011 budget and send it now, because I know that at the end of the day if there are delays the National Assembly would be blamed. Nigerians are more comfortable in blaming the National Assembly than blaming any other person else.

"But I think that we want to call on the executive to see how they can speed up the action and bring the budget. If they bring it early we will pass it early, the problem of implementation and performance will also improve because if we start early, procurement process will start early and everything will be on course. It is running a bit late and we want to use this opportunity to say that if we can get it a bit early, that would be good," Eze said.

Senator Ayogu Eze added that late presentation of the budget by the executive will not augur well for the economy saying: “if they bring it late, we will pass it late because we are going to ensure that it is thoroughly scrutinized. I don't think that we will move away from that. Any budget that is presented to us is properly scrutinized and this will not be different."