By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
National Assembly yesterday commenced a two day public hearing on the 2020 budget, as a measure to allow public input and contribution to the budget proposal of N10.33trillion recently presented by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Declaring open the public hearing which was convened jointly by the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Appropriation, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, said the public hearing is aimed at accommodating the suggestions and inputs of critical stakeholders with a view to adding value to legislation through the channels of inclusion and public engagement.
He added that the successful implementation of a nation’s annual budget depends on increased participation by stakeholders, and awareness and education of citizens.
He added that, “The overall essence is not just engagement or consultation, but also for the greater good of the people.”
Lawan said the collective decision of the ninth Assembly to revert to the January-December budget cycle as provided in the 1999 Constitution as amended, stemmed from the need to achieve a predictable economic framework for Nigeria.
Lawan said the present budget cycle in operation created problems of planning and implementation in the nation’s economic framework.