The chairman said the Appropriation Committee will ensure that the precedent of passing the budget on or before 31 December of each financial year is sustained.
The House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation has promised speedy passage of the 2024 Appropriation Bill when brought before it.
The committee also vowed to exercise its oversight jurisdiction in relevant government agencies to ensure the full implementation of the budget.
Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Abubakar Bichi (APC, Kano), who gave the assurance at the inaugural meeting of the committee, said the House will ensure the sustenance of the long-established precedent of ensuring compliance with the Financial Year Act through budget passage on or before 31 December of each financial year.
This development, he said, will no doubt, make the budget implementation from January to December operational and achievable.
Bichi also reiterated the House’s commitment to monitor and evaluate all the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), adding that the committee will work not just on budget appropriation alone.
“It is significant to note that the Appropriations Committee stands as one of the most prominent Committees that champion the course of law-making through appropriations of funds to run the affairs of government by Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government. This makes the Committee enjoy a wider jurisdiction than other Standing Committees.
“More significantly, the Committee is empowered by Order 20, Rule 15 of the House of Representatives Standing Orders, 10th Edition, 2020 as Amended to coordinate, monitor, and supervise the implementation of all Appropriation Acts after passage by the National Assembly.
“This power will be effectively utilized to exercise oversight jurisdiction over relevant agencies such as the Federal Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, Federal Ministry of Finance, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, and National Economic Intelligence Agency among others to monitor the budget implementation.
“In furtherance of this significant duty, the Committee’s leadership will initiate a strategic meeting with Chairmen of Finance, National Planning and Aids, Loans and Debt Management to gather data that will facilitate the function of this Committee of ensuring inclusive budget preparation, appreciable implementation, and effective oversight.
“In addition, the Committee will ensure the sustenance of the long-established and cherished precedent of ensuring compliance with the Financial Year Act through budget passage on or before 31 December of each financial year. This development will no doubt make the budget implementation from January to December operational and achievable.”
The lawmaker equally assured that the committee will ensure coordination of the leadership role to facilitate pre-budget meetings with relevant MDAs while at the same time, ensuring a sustainable collaboration with its sister Committee in the Senate and other relevant stakeholders
“You may agree with me that the mandate of this Committee requires serious commitment, diligence, and political will. I have no doubt that the caliber of members assembled in the Committee will promote its image by effectively delivering its core and ancillary mandates.
“I am glad to inform you that the leadership of the Committee will utilize your experience, hard work, and passion for national service to discharge the functions of the Committee by ensuring effective appropriation of funds, monitoring budget implementation, and evaluating the budget performance towards efficient service delivery.
“This will no doubt promote the implementation of the Legislative Agenda to reposition the House towards ensuring peace order and good governance of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“I, therefore, solicit your support, cooperation, and patronage to make the Committee lively, productive, and visible within the National Assembly and beyond. The Committee’s leadership will regularly consult the Leadership of the House for necessary legislative guidance while ensuring harmonious working relations with relevant Committees and other stakeholders to ensure speedy passage according to the budget calendar,” Bichi stated.