* As Buhari Assents N241bn FCT budget
The Presidency yesterday said the awaited passage of the 2016 budgets of 38 statutory corporations and agencies of government currently before the National Assembly for consideration will boost the nation’s economy when approved and implemented.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, made the disclosure Wednesday in Abuja, saying that the submission of the budget estimates of the concerned establishments to the National Assembly was in compliance with an extant law.
Enang also hinted that President Muhammadu Buhari has assented to the 2016 Appropriation Act of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as passed by the National Assembly earlier in July this year.
“The legal implementation of the Budget (N241 billion), therefore, comes into effect, which will result in employment in the formal sectors and informal sectors through projects implementation and employment therefore arising,” he said.
Budgets of corporations and agencies like the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC); Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC); Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE); Nigerian Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure; Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund; Corporate Affairs Commission; Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), among others were forwarded to both chambers of the National Assembly by Buhari shortly after the passage of the 2016 Budget in March.
“The Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007 requires that the Budget of the agencies among others be laid before the Assembly by Mr. President, in addition to, and independent of the annual Appropriation Act.
“That means that none of the agencies or corporations can implement any of its capital projects or programmes which are required to be approved by the National Assembly unless and until it has been approved by the National Assembly.
“Therefore the essence of laying the budget for consideration of the legislature is first in fulfilment of the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act and secondly the effect of the approval will be that the economy will be stimulated because most of the agencies like the Nigeria Ports Authority, Nigeria Railway Corporation, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Nigeria Communications Commission and all of them will implement their capital projects.
“Secondly, you cannot implement them without the approval of the National Assembly therefore as the National Assembly considers it and approves this as they resume there would be a lot of activity again in the economy.
“Further, the Federal Government did seek and obtain the approval of the National Assembly to spend N6.06 trillion in the year 2016. When the budget of these agencies are approved and for instance if it is up to about 4 trillion, that means we will be having a budget of about N10 trillion in the country to implement for this year and when approved it will make additional money available in the economy.
“Another advantage of getting the budgets approved is that there is going to be massive employment because in the budget of those agencies, there is provisions for employment, there is provisions for the number of staff that had retired two to three years ago, the ones that are going to retire this year, the vacancies to be filled by those retiring and the additional vacancies that they will need as will be approved by the National Assembly,” Enang said.