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Jonathan To Present 2013 Budget Next Week

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ABUJA, September 18, (THEWILL) - President Goodluck Jonathan is set to present the 2013 budget to the joint session of the National Assembly next week.

Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Joy Emordi told a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday that the President is ready to fast track the budget process for the next fiscal year.

She also disclosed that President Jonathan’s administration is working hard to avoid the bottlenecks that characteristically slow down the process, beginning with the timely submission of the budget. This, she noted, would facilitate early passage and effective implementation from the beginning of the budget year.

“To this end, government is fine-tuning the 2013 Appropriation Bill, which will hopefully be submitted to the National Assembly for consideration and passage this September, as earlier promised,” she said.

“It is noteworthy that while the lawmakers were on recess, President Jonathan, in furtherance of his administration’s effort at budget implementation for national development, signed a Performance Contract with ministers in order to ensure high performance, which is a sine qua non for national development.”

The measure, she explained, not only makes it compulsory for ministers to perform, but also helps them to rate themselves based on defined targets. In addition, she revealed that some ministers have also gone ahead to have key personnel and heads of agencies under them sign the performance contract.

“It is important to note at this point that the implementation of the budget has reached a very high impressive level,” she enthused.

“I am therefore certain that federal lawmakers will notice a drastic improvement in performance in all ministries, departments and agencies in the course of their oversight functions, while Nigerians would also feel the impact of the Performance Contract in the form of improved service delivery.”

Emordi expressed certainty that senators and members of the House of Representatives are convinced beyond doubt that Jonathan is on the same page with them on the need for full implementation of the budget and effective service delivery by MDAs.

She assured that the president would continue partnering the National Assembly in the ongoing Constitution review project, and appealed to the National Assembly to expedite the consideration and passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill into law, to complement his determination to reposition the oil and gas sector for the benefit of the country.