Sen. Ita Enang, the senior special assistant to the president on the national assembly, has expressed the position of President Muhammadu Buhari on the passage of the 2017 budget at a colloquium on budget matters in Abuja.
According to Mr Enang, the legislative process will be transparent and no manipulation from the outside will be possible.
Traditionally, lawmakers pass the budget summary while its details are handled by the appropriation committee that forward it separately to the president for assent.
The reform implies that from now on the budget will be assented only after its details duly passed on the floor of both chamber of the national assembly and approved by the president.
Mr Enang said: “We will reform the budget process when it is completely passed on the floor of the National Assembly.
The bill will be signed by the president when the bill and its schedule is brought and passed on the floor along with the details of the bill.
All these must be reflected on vote’s ad proceedings of the two chambers and certified for the president to assent.”
However, Ike Ekweremade, the deputy president of the Senate, explained that the national assembly does not relinquish the passage of the schedule of the budget to the appropriation committees.
He said: “What the appropriation committees do is to sign all the page of the document before transmission to the president.”
He also suggested to shrink the time of the bill submission to three months instead of the current six month before presidential assent to make process more expeditious and responsive.
“Most of the challenges we always have on the budget is that it was not always presented early,” Mr Ekweremade added.
Besides, he recommended to make the budget process public thus ordinary Nigerians can participate during its preparation.