The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN) has called upon the National Assembly (NASS) to actively monitor revenue-generating Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to ensure the country achieves its budgetary targets for 2024. Mrs. Funmi Ekundayo, the president of ICSAN, made this plea during the fourth-quarter media parley held at the institute’s secretariat in Lagos.
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu had, on November 29 of this year, presented the proposed 2024 budget of N27.5 trillion to a joint session of the Senate and House of Representatives, terming it the “Budget of Renewed Hope.” Ekundayo commended the early release of the 2024 appropriation bill, considering it a positive step in the right direction.
Ekundayo emphasized the importance of timely budgeting, stating, “In some recent years in the past, we were accustomed to delays in the budgeting process contrary to the statutory budgetary calendar cycle provided in the constitution (section 82.1 of the 1999 Constitution).” She highlighted the far-reaching negative consequences of such delays on national life and expressed satisfaction with the current early presentation, which leads to prompt discussions, approvals, and implementation.
Regarding the implementation of the budget, Ekundayo urged the National Assembly to exercise effective oversight and monitoring of all revenue-generating MDAs, emphasizing the need for these entities to meet their respective revenue targets. She suggested that the National Assembly could achieve this through the oversight functions of its standing committees in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Responding to inquiries about the economic implications of subsidy removal, Ekundayo stressed the importance of considering the rationale behind the removal of fuel subsidy and evaluating the benefits accruing to the nation. She acknowledged that the positive impact might not be immediate and urged a comprehensive view of the socioeconomic problems, recognizing the gestation period required for government policies to yield environmental satisfaction and long-term benefits for the economy. Ekundayo refrained from either defending or criticizing the government’s actions, emphasizing the need for a nuanced understanding of the policy’s effects over time.