- Says lawmakers to hold themselves to highest standards of integrity
By Christiana Ekpa
The Speaker of the House of Representatives Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila has assured that the National Assembly would give thorough and speedy consideration to the 2021 budget estimates presented by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday.
Gbajabiamila said the promise that members of the 9th Assembly made to return the country’s annual budget to the January to December cycle, which they achieved last year, remains unchanged, hence the resolve to ensure a thorough job on the budget at hand.
In his remarks during the budget presentation, Gbajabiamila also assured that members of the National Assembly would hold themselves to the highest standards of integrity in the budget process.
He said they would work with relevant government agencies to ensure that the budget meets the yearnings and aspirations of the Nigerian people.
“We have once again just experienced the beauty and majesty of our democracy – The Laying of the Budget proposals before the Legislature for consideration and approval.”
“I believe I speak on behalf of the entire National Assembly, in assuring you that this proposal will receive thorough and speedy consideration.
“We will collaborate with the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Executive to deliver a budget that meets the needs and matches the ambitions of the Nigerian people.
“And we will hold ourselves in the Legislature to the highest standards of integrity so that our deliberations and contributions to this process are motivated only by considerations of the best interests of the Nigerian people.”
He said: “When just over a year ago, we gathered in this chamber to receive the budget proposal and begin the appropriation process, we made specific commitments to the Nigerian people. We promised that we would pass the budget promptly, free of the rancour that had bedevilled the process in time past. We delivered on that promise.
“I thank my colleagues in the National Assembly for the dedication and commitment they showed last year during the appropriation process.
“Senators and members of the House of Representatives toiled night and day, sometimes through the night and into the wee hours of the morning, to ensure that we achieved our commitment to return to the January to December budget cycle as envisaged by the constitution.
“I do not doubt that we will exhibit the same commitment to nation-building and deliver a good budget on time. We cannot afford a return to the old practices, and we must do everything in our power to avoid such an outcome.