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Senate seeks early submission of 2019 budget

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Senate Committee on Special Duties has called for early preparation and submission of the 2019 budget by the Federal Government to enable the National Assembly commence work on it without further delay.

The chairman, Sen. Abdul’Aziz Nyako, made the call in a statement yesterday. Nyako had paid an oversight visit to the Special Duties Office (SDO) on Tuesday at the Federal Secretariat, Abuja.

The visit, he said, was to keep abreast of the performance and the implementation of the 2017 budget.Lamenting the delay in the release of funds, which he claimed had jeopardised the functions of the office in terms of monitoring and inspection of Federal Executive Council (FEC)-approved projects and constituency projects, the senator stated that this could amount to undue pressure on the part of management.

He applauded the management for utilising the little resources allocated to the office while encouraging them to put in their best in the implementation of projects, noting that this year’s release was lower than last year’s, as only 10 per cent of the budget was released recently.

The permanent secretary, Chief William Alo, while giving a brief on the performance of the 2017 budget, appreciated the senate committee, noting that its visit was in line with the principles of separation of powers, which is a prelude to good governance.

He added that inadequate funding and late releases were responsible for non-execution of some projects planned for the year under review. Alo added that due to limited funds, instead of awarding contracts, the agency prioritised its activities and critically reviewed areas of needs such as monitoring of constituency projects, FEC-approved projects, website management, establishment of a library among other projects.

The SDO has the mandate of monitoring the implementation of FEC decisions (programmes, policies and projects) submitted by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), in addition to overseeing the implementation of zonal intervention/ constituency projects nationwide.



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