By Christiana Ekpa
A member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Kingsley Chima (Imo AA) has disclosed that projected expenditures made in the annual Appropriation Act must be equal to expected revenue for it to achieve the desired goal.
This was just as the Lawmaker noted that nothing is wrong with the Nigerian budgeting system, but that the country lack full implementation of the budget.
Chima who represents Ohaji/Egbema, Oguta and Oru West Federal Constituency, made the assertion in an interview with journalists in Abuja at the weekend.
The first term lawmaker explained that the budgeting system remains a fundamental factor in the development of any nation, said when a country gets its budgeting system right, it would be headed for development and economic growth.
He said that the National Assembly works tirelessly to make input and contribute ideas to the budget but lack of funds often impedes full implementation of the Act, adding that there was need to plan in accordance with the availability of resources at the disposal of the country.
“When you do bogus budgets, it means several trillions are written down as expenditures but when is time for implementation, the country is unable to get the funding to match the allocation for the year, As new members of the National Assembly, we are looking at making the budget realistic,” he said.
According to Chima, while preparing the budget, the projected expenditures made not be more than the current price of crude oil.
He said that projecting above the available resources will make the budget under perform adding that only achievable projects should be listed in the budget.
“It is only when we begin to practice realistic budget that the country will record 80 to 90 per cent implementation,” he said.
The lawmaker said that the National Assembly was determined to make sure that the budget runs from January to December as it would aid perfect planing and implementation, stressing that the 9th National Assembly was determined to performed full oversight function over the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
Chima said that oversight functions would enable the legislature determine if the listed projects in the budget were being implemented or not.
The lawmaker said that the leadership of the National Assembly have expressed readiness to activate the standing committees for detailed oversight functions and ensure budget implementation.
The parliamentarian said that oversight functions would make the contractors and the MDAs sit up and take their jobs seriously.
On insecurity, Chima said that the current state of insecurity in Nigeria was not acceptable especially as the country was in dare need of foreign direct investment.
“One thing that will guarantee the confidence of the Nigerian people is to convoke a national security summit. When we convoke a national security summit, all opinions, ideas, communiques and solutions from every part of the country, shades of opinions will be brought to a round table for discussion.
“People will speak their minds devoid of political interference, manipulation from any quarters, there should be a system that will guarantee the participation of the true representatives of the common Nigerian,” he said.
The lawmaker said, when the recommendations from the conference would be implemented, the insecurity problems in the country would be solved without Nigerians losing sleep.
He condemned the killing of the leader of Afenifere sociocultural group, Pa Reuben Fasoranti’s daughter, Mrs. Olufunke Olakurin by unknown gunmen.
Chima said that Nigeria would not grow with militancy, insurgency, kidnapping, banditry, communal crisis as they had created panic across the country.
Commiserating with Pa Fasoranti and all those who lost a love one, to avoidable attacks in the country, rather everybody should join hands in finding lasting solutions to insecurity in Nigeria.
The lawmaker said that the security agencies had to do more to address and to put insecurity to rest in the country.
According to him, there is need to amend existing laws to enable the police and other security agencies function in ways that will meet current realities on ground.
He said that there was need to secure the life and family members of police officers and equipped them with modern weapons and gadgets to do their job.
The lawmaker said that the National Assembly was working in tandem with other arms of government to ensure welfare of security agents.
He said when the conditions of service of security personnel are improved; there would be an improvement in the fight against crime.
The parliamentarian said that every community should be part of managing security in their immediate environment.
Chima insisted that traditional rulers, women, youth and men organisations, clergymen and community visitors must be involved in managing security.
He said that a “bottom to top” approach be adopted, recommending that vigilante groups to be given training and governmental coverage to operate within the community.
He said the major issue in the country is how to formulate and implement policies that would put food on the table of Nigerians and ensure security wherever they are in the country.