Nigeria: SERAP seeks timely passage of 2020 budget

A civil society group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), on Tuesday called on the National Assembly to ensure timely passage of the 2020 Budget for effective implementation.

Mr Adetokunbo Mumuni, SERAP Executive Director, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had on Tuesday presented the 2020 Budget of N10.33 trillion to a joint session of the 9th National Assembly.

Mumuni commended the president for his attempt to restore the budget cycle to the normal calendar.

He said it was imperative that Nigeria gets its budgetary processes right.

“What we used to know is that budget runs from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31. We were used to that during the military era.

“But, with the coming of democracy, we started seeing budget not taking off when it is supposed to, which clearly affects its implementation.

“So, let us have a departure from this process and start having a budget that follows all the due processes.

“The National Assembly must, therefore, look into this budget and pass it in time,” Mumuni advised the NASS.

He, however, urged the legislators to subject the budget to thorough scrutiny and ensure that projects meaningful to ordinary Nigerians were given priority.

“One fundamental reason why we have not felt the impact of our budgets is that they are not faithfully implemented.

“This time around, we want to see the faithful implementation of the budget.

“The National Assembly should exercise their oversight functions in this regard for the benefit of Nigerians,” Mumuni said.

The SERAP executive director also urged the media and civil society groups to be on their guards once the budget was passed.

They should create sufficient awareness that would make those in charge of its implementation to perform their responsibilities.

“It is not enough to pass a budget. We don’t want to be taken for granted anymore.

“It is in our best interest that the budget is properly implemented, and we should always demand for that from our leaders,” he said.

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