Bill On NASS Budget Office Passes Second Reading | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Bill On NASS Budget Office Passes Second Reading

Babajide Omoworare
Posted: Apr 27, 2016 at 6:55 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Rotimi Akinwumi 

Abuja – The Bill for an Act to Establish an Independent National Assembly Budget and Research Office yesterday passed second reading on the floor of the Senate.

The bill, which was sponsored by Sen. Babajide Omoworare, Chairman Senate Committee on Rules and Business, seeks to ensure objective, timely and non-partisan analysis needed for economic and budget decisions.

In his lead debate on the Bill, at yesterdays plenary, Omoworare, said the bill would give the office, which is already in existence a legal backing to enable it, function properly.

He said it had become necessary to give the office a legal backing for full operation in view of controversies that characterised annual budgets in the country.

Explaining the benefits of the office, he said, “the office will help save cost and block loopholes within budgets that have become drain pipes.

“The office will also ensure an indelible input of trained democrats, who will help us with figures and statistics for a good budget.

“The office will further provide legal backing to the already existing office for independent unbiased non-partisan budget. It will equally help the executive and legislature to be on the same page.

“Also, the office will assist in budget oversight. The closest office that does that is National Institute for Legislative Studies (NILS) and it is mainly involved in analysing policy issues not specifically budget and economic matters.”

He reminded the parliament that the bill was passed and sent for assent twice in previous assemblies but was not assented to.

He expressed hope that the bill will this time around, be passed by the 8th Senate and assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“When passed into law, the Budget and Research office will work in a conventional manner like other budget offices and carry out annual budget reviews.

“The establishment of this office is long overdue; Uganda for instance has a budget office that monitors implementation of the legislative budget as well as objective analysis of budget in the country.