The senator representing Lagos East senatorial district, Senator Olugbenga Ashafa, on Thursday asked the Executive arm of government to send the budget estimates of year 2017 to the National Assembly saying the Senate is ready to receive the budget.
He made this call at the fourth day of the Made in Nigeria Summit which took place at the Eko Atlantic City with the theme “Pathways to building the main economy: Legislative agenda for the main economy.”
Ashafa, who is the Chairman Senate Committee on Land Transport also highlighted some of the efforts of the National Assembly to assist the economy and also encourage more local content in the Nigerian economy.
He also seized the opportunity to join his voice to the call by the Senate President on the executive to transmit the 2017 budget estimates to the National Assembly in good time.
While analysing the contribution of the Senate towards encouraging local participation in the economy, the senator stated ”The fundamental role of the National Assembly in the area of the economy remains providing the requisite legislative support for both the executive and indeed the Nigerian populace to thrive in their areas of business.”
“The 8th Session of the National Assembly is very well aware of the task ahead of it in this period of economic challenge and we are alive to this responsibility. I will give you some instances: one is the amendment of The Public Procurement Act which has effectively reduced the time it takes government to process the award of contracts. Also, that law is to make it compulsory for government to patronize locally produced goods.
The Senator also spoke about the passage of the Nigerian Railway bill 2016 which was spearheaded by his committee and expressed his optimism on how the new law will help open up the Rail sector to private sector participation.”
In concluding, the Senator stated that the National Assembly is ready to receive the 2017 budget, calling on the Executive to send the budget estimates for the year 2017 to the National Assembly in good time to afford the National Assembly the opportunity of carrying out a thorough examination and timely passage of the document. “I agree that the National Assembly can do more to encourage local content in the economy, however I think it is important to state that since it takes the National Assembly averagely about Four months to scrutinize the budget, we in the National Assembly are ready to start work on the 2017 budget. If we receive the budget estimates early, it gives us the opportunity of carrying out a thorough examination and timely passage of the document.”