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2012 Budget Passage Not Going To Be 'Business As Usual' - Representatives

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Abuja, November 09, (THEWILL) - The House of Representatives has assured that in passing the 2012 budget, it will be strict and strive to eliminate unnecessary projects from the proposal.

Chairman of the House committee on media and public affairs, Honourable Zakari, who made this known today in Abuja said the move was in agreement with the House’ legislative agenda unveiled by Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal.

Zakari explained that the idea was to instill fiscal conservatism and cut down cost of governance in order to give the Nigerian electorate value for their money.

According to him, the 2012 budget will not be business as usual as it will be thoroughly scrutinized so as to produce a fiscal blueprint that is feasible and implementable.

“I want to let Nigerians know that the House of Representatives under Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal will not rubber stamp any budget proposal. We are going to be thorough; we will be scrupulous so that at the end of the day we shall have a budget that is implementable,” he stated.

The House spokesman stressed that “I also want to assure Nigerians that this House will not approve any bogus or white elephant project in the budget, that era has passed. It is not going to be business as usual. This is in line with the House legislative agenda.

According to him, the House has proven that it is prepared to do that by cutting down on its running cost. He explained that “it is about fiscal conservatism. We are talking about cutting cost, checking wastages. We are talking about strengthening our oversight functions; we are talking about e-parliament. The legislative agenda is like a guide and that guide is the principle on which we are operating and cutting down on our running cost by 64 percent that is fiscal conservatism,” Zakari added.

Speaking further, the lawmaker expressed worry that for long the country has had budgets, which were not implemented thereby failing to improve the lot of the average Nigerian. “And we have been having budgets that are poorly implemented. The recurrent expenditure is always higher than the capital expenditure but world over no budget works that way. We now want to cut down cost and at the same time revenue that are not being disclosed, we want to block those areas of leakages and plough them back for capital and sustainable development.”

The House spokesman assured that as soon as the budget is presented to the National Assembly, the House would swing into action for a speedy passage to create room for effective implementation adding that the earlier it is passed, the more time the executive would have to work with it.

“I can assure you the 7th Assembly House is poised to give the appropriation bill accelerated consideration but at the same time study it critically to forestall the inclusion of anything that may not be implementable,” he added.