Femi Gbajabiamila, the Majority Leader in the House of Representatives, on Sunday said that the nation’s lawmakers would work toward speedy passage of the 2017 budget, but would not sacrifice thoroughness in doing so.
Mr. Gbajabiamila spoke with journalists in Lagos on the occasion of his constituency’s celebration of the New Year baby at the Maternal and Child Care Hospital, Surulere.
He also donated gift items to children with health challenges at the Heart of Gold Children’s Hospice, also in Surulere, to mark the New Year.
The lawmaker said that though the budget was presented late, efforts would be put in place to pass it promptly.
”It’s unfortunate that the budget was presented late. I have always been an advocate that budget be presented in September or first week in October as done in advanced democracy.
”You don’t present the budget late in December and expect quick passage. The financial year is supposed to start by December 31 or January1.
”We cannot sacrifice thoroughness and good work on the altar of time, we still need to do our work ; we will ensure we fast track the passage in the shortest possible time.
”When we go back to the House, we will double and triple all efforts and make sure that this budget is passed on time,” he said.
Mr. Gbajabiamila said that hopefully, the budget would revive the country’s economy and make life better for Nigerians.
”The good thing is that the budget year has been extended to March and there are safeguards in the constitution that provide that when the budget has not been passed during a certain period, there are certain things that can be done to keep the government running.
”But the budget will be passed soon and like it has been tagged -‘Budget of Recovery and Growth’, hopefully, that is what we will see in 2017,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that President Muhammadu Buhari on December 14, 2016 in Abuja, presented a budget proposal of N7.30 trillion for 2017 before a joint session of the National Assembly.