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Published On: Tue, Nov 21st, 2017

Activist thumbs up pre-budget presentation dialogue

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…calls on NASS to set up research office

By Musa Adamu

The executive-legislature dialogue preceding the presentation of the 2018 budget has been hailed as novel and a development capable of solving many sources of the face off associated with budgeting process in the past.
Speaking exclusively with People Daily, Executive Director, Civil Society and Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Auwal Musa Ibrahim, explained that the absence of such dialogue in the past was responsible for the misunderstanding between the two arms of government.
Regretting that the 2017 budget, like others before it, could not get passed by the National Assembly on time due to lack of pre-presentation consultation to accommodate inputs of the
legislature, he hopes that this time the appropriation bill would get speedy consideration in the NASS.
Ibrahim also advised the NASS to establish the National Assembly Budget Research Office (NABRO), a body which he said would be peopled by experts to handle technical requirements of budgeting process to ease the lawmakers work. Adding that this would go a long way in saving time and resources, he said this would ensure that quality job was done by the lawmakers. He also advised the lawmakers to be more open and moderate in their lifestyle to shake off their present perception in the eyes of Nigerians that “they do little yet consume much.” He said it was imperative for the lawmakers to deliberately work with the executive in its anti-corruption drive by legislating on people-centered bills.
The Activist also condemned Nigeria tendency to rush into borrowing, saying while it was not uncommon for countries to borrow, Nigeria had no reason to do so to fund project. He said it was imperative for Nigeria to recover its unremitted revenues, plug wastages and be more financially prudent to fund whatever project it wants.
Speaking further on the anti-corruption drive of the present administration, he advised government to communicate more on the war in order to avoid speculation and get people buy-in. He also condemned the “apparent in fighting” in President Buhari’s government where officials openly contradict openly and deliberately leak memos, saying it shows lack of coordination and “assertiveness” on the part of the President.
On the controversial education reform in Kaduna State, he said much as he was not in support of leaving the training of children in the hands of “misfits” and “unqualified” teachers, the state government should retrain the “trainable” ones and dismiss the “untrainable” ones to avoid “unforeseen backlashes.”

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