A member of House of Representatives, Mr Nicholas Ossai (Delta-APC), on Wednesday urged Nigerians to hold the Executive responsible for the delay in the passage of 2018 Appropriation Bill.
Ossai while speaking with newsmen in Abuja, said that apart from the Bill being late as at when it was submitted in November, 2017, the federal government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) had also refused to go before relevant committees of the legislature to defend their budgets.
The lawmaker said that it was unfair for the Executive to blame the lawmakers for delay in passing the budget, insisting that it could not be approved without MDAs defending their needs as contained in it.
“The most critical issue is that the budget was brought late November, and so there was no way the National Assembly could have addressed the matters in the Bill in one month.
“January to December is not supposed to be an issue but bringing the private sector to bear when budgeting is the issue.
“This is because the economy is run not only from the public sector but also the private sector.
“The executive ought to bring the budget in the first week of October to give three months for the legislature to address the issues critically, looking at the books and performance of preceding budget.’’
“Sometimes you blame the executive because you invite them to come and expatiate on the budget items and they find it very difficult. I don’t know what they are hiding from the legislature.
“The Constitution has given us power to be able to look at the Bill; we are representatives of the people and the executive is to implement what the people have prescribed.
“I think to some extent, the National Assembly has been dutiful enough to its job by creating value for money because without scrutinizing, you won’t be able to see value for money,” Ossai added.
The Nation reports that the lawmaker also stressed that it was necessary to know how any amount budgeted was to be utilised based on the prescription of the national assembly.