By Francis Sadhere

A Niger Delta based Non-Governmental Organization, Center for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ), has commended the National Assembly for passing the 2016 Appropriation Bill into Law, and tasked President Muhammadu Buhari on the effective implementation of the budget.

President Mohammadu Buhari

President Mohammadu Buhari

Besides, the Center urged the National Assembly to set up a special Budget Implementation Monitoring Committee to work in tandem with the various standing House Committees to ensure effective budget implementation of the budget by the executive.

“The passage of the budget in record time despite the earlier hiccup is a welcome development, but the implementation is key. So NASS should as a matter of urgency set up Budget Implementation Monitoring Committee to carefully and thoroughly monitor its implementation for the benefits of Nigerians and save the economy from total collapse. It should not be business as usual.”

The NGO advised the President to make sure that next year budget is thoroughly scrutinized to avoid the alleged padding of the 2016 fiscal plan, which was very embarrassing to the nation, adding that the 2017 budget should be presented to the National Assembly early enough.

CEPEJ charged the various standing committees of the National Assembly to exercise their oversight functions so as to guarantee the full implementation of the 2016 budget to give Nigerians a sense of belonging.

The Center advises the Senate to step up action on the amendment of the Public Procurement Bill currently before the National Assembly in a bid to aid the effective implementation of the budget.

It lauded the Senate for setting aside partisanship and working closely to ensure early passage of the budget, stating that their work ethics was a display of patriotism and commitment to the development of the country.

It also advised the President to watch closely the civil servants as they are keys in the failure or successful implementation of the budget.

“The Federal civil service is the key to the effective implementation of the budget as it is the engine room of government. The greatest problem that Nigerians complain about is the issues of discipline and sharp practices in the service.‎

“We reiterate our earlier call on the President to sustain the tempo on corruption and plough funds recovered from looters into infrastructural development and also revive moribund industries to better the lots of the people.”