Abuja - The Speaker, House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, on Monday called on stakeholders to come up with a bill to compel implementation of the national budget by Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs)
Tambuwal said this at a two-day Stakeholders Forum in Abuja, with the theme :`` Towards a More Effective Budget Implementation in Nigeria.''
The forum was organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations.
He said that the National Assembly would give speedy passage to the bill to enhance budget implementation.
The speaker called for synergy between the Executive and the Legislature to enhance budget implementation in the country.
"Over the years, the degrees at which budgets are implemented have fallen to very low levels.
"It is time we change from the so-called cash based budgeting system to Performance Based Budgeting.
"We hope that all arms of government, especially the Legislature and the Executive will learn to build the kind of synergy that will encourage budget implementation and reduce poverty in the land.
The speaker said that the National Assembly has a duty to consider and approve the budget, as well as the formulation and implementation lied with the executive.
He said that the annual budget was critical to the survival of the people than any other component of governance.
According to him, the Presidential Projects Assessment Committee estimated that more than 11,886 projects valued at N7.7 trillion were abandoned after government had spent N2.2 trillion on them.
He said that N9 trillion was needed to complete them now and the figure was rising.
"This is unsupportable and we hope this workshop will be able to find ways of stopping such wastages in future by advocating Performance Budgeting.
Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance and the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, said that executive proposal and budgets passed by the National Assembly would ensure effective implementation of the budget.
The minister, who was represented by Mr Danladi Kifasi, Permanent Secretary in the ministry, called for collaboration between the executive and the legislature for effective budget implementation.
" I must state, however, that there are still areas where we can improve on the relationship so as to have a more implementable budget.
"We believe that continued collaboration between the legislature and executive will ensure that we are able to deliver quality service to Nigerians,"she said.
Okonjo-Iweala said that MDA's lacked the capacity to implement capital budgets. She attributed the recurrent poor budget implementation to poor planning and conceptualisation by the MDA's.
Rep. John Enoh (PDP-Cross River) the chairman of the committee, said that budget formulation and implementation was critical to challenges in the budget process.
Enoh noted that budget was key in efforts aimed at addressing the huge infrastructural challenges currently facing the country in areas of power and transport.
He said that monitoring of budget implementation had been weak and spending agencies were not held accountable for delivering output with funds allocated to them.
"We believe that effective budget implementation is the bedrock of good governance and poverty alleviation.
"We will continue to use the several budget tracking templates at our disposal to fulfil the critical mandate of monitoring the progress made in the implementation of the budget,"he said.
He said that the committee was committee was committed to discharge its duty of in-depth review of budget proposals and effective monitoring of budget implementation.
"The House determined to use its powers of Appropriation responsibly to the benefit of the economy and serve the populace,"he said.
He regretted that about 50 per cent of the annual national budget was spent at the federal level.