News Investigators/ A Senator representing Anambra north of Anambra state, Stella Oduah (PDP) has called for a visionary budget-driven national planning framework in order to enhance budget performance in Nigeria.
Sen. Oduah noted that having budgets that are disjointed and truncated and fluid has not helped the country.
According to the former aviation minister, the suggestion has nothing to do with politics, “it has to do with us as a people, it has to do with our growth, it has to do with prioritising where we need to prioritise,” she said.
Mrs. Oduah on Thursday sponsored a motion alongside five other lawmakers on ‘the need to establish a Visionary Budget-Driven National Planning Framework for Nigeria’.
Speaking with journalists after plenary, Oduah said the motion is about having a budget with a purpose which is well articulated and easy to be applied.
According to her this motion does not have anything to do with politics because having budgets that are disjointed and truncated has not helped Nigeria as a people and has not helped its growth.
“And budgeting itself and national planning has to be in tandem with the global best practices and our national growth plan, therefore, the budget should speak to the vision, and the vision should be about elevating the lives of our people.
“So “So MDAs and parastatals that have to be the key drivers of any budget, (depending on what the goal of the budget is), will be prioritised in the budgeting application, and so it is about having a proper circle of a budgeting process so we don’t have any gaps.
“And at the end of the day, we can say that the money we are going to spend is going to be ‘X’ and in spending ‘X’, we are going to accomplish ‘Y’, but for Y to be there, we need to have ‘ABC’ as the key players,” she said.
Sen. Oduah lauded the lawmakers for swiftly approving the motion to the next level of roundtables and reiterated that the motion is supposed to aid the country plan efficiently and effectively to ensure the citizens live better lives.
“Thank God the Senate has approved this to get to the next level, and that next level would be a roundtable where all the key players would sit down and talk about our developmental plan, the vision of Mr President and what we want to accomplish with the budget.
“So regardless of which party is in power, it will have a budget, and a plan to follow which can stand the test of time, that is what a visionary driven budget is all about.
“The legislative intervention will be of a policy that will stand the test of time and that would be enforced by all budgetary officers; the motion has called to attention the need for us to have the budgeting process.
“The roundtable will produce the policy framework which becomes the insertions of the policy itself.
“So you have a policy where all the key players are participants, when you participate in any policy, the tendency is that you will ensure it doesn’t fail, and hoping as a law it shouldn’t fail, she said.”
Oduah advocated for a penalty, in the event of non-compliance, noting that any law without penalty is bound to fail.
“But the truth of the matter is that for us to grow as a nation, for us to have a focused growth, we need to have a visionary purpose driven budget, so we can access our growth, plan our growth and grow, otherwise we keep going in circles, and every year you have a routine that doesn’t serve any purpose.
“We should be able to say this year, this is what we wish to accomplish, and we work our budget towards accomplishing that, you can say to yourself that in the year 2025, that tiny road in your village will be done, the school that lacks computer will be able to have the infrastructure that can support computers when they are given.
“And so we can tailor our goals, monitor and assess ourselves; and because it is a policy, it is not cast on stone, we always can redo it, but the thing is that we are applying it.
“And it is not about money, you can have tonnes of money, but without good planning on how to spend it, it is as good as not having the money; so even with our resources, we must plan and apply it to where it would work better for us.“
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the other lawmakers who cosponsored the motion are Sen. Bassey Geshom Henry (Cross River State), Sen. Apiafi, Betty Jocelyn (Rivers), Sen. Dahiru, Aishatu Ahmed (Adamawa Central), Sen. Barau, Jibrin (Kano North) and Sen. Olujimi Biodun (Ekiti South).