By Emeka Anaeto, in Washington DC
The Director General, Budget Office, Mr Ben Akabueze, has indicated that public servants would still be pushing through the implementation of the 2018 budget against the impediments to governance by electioneering activities in the run-up to 2019 general elections.
Speaking to Nigerian journalists on the sidelines of the Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group in Washington DC, United States of America, at the weekend, Akabueze stated: “People have to run election on something. People have to go back to their constituencies and say what they have done. Therefore, I don’t think pursuing electoral objectives is inconsistent with the objective of implementing the budget because at the end of the day you have to show what you have done.
“Instead, the election should provide strong impetus for people to make an effort to implement the 2018 budget.”
Akabueze was also speaking at the backdrop of the third consecutive year of delay in processing the national budget indicating that a new budget cycle may have been imposed on and accepted by Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, of the Federal Government.
He said that the MDAs, learning from the experience of the past, are gearing up for the budget to be passed and taking preliminary steps in their procurement while waiting for the budget.
He indicated that the MDAs have adjusted to the consistent delay in the Appropriation Act process such that they now get ready to implement within the scope of the new cycle of mid-year to mid-year, (June to May) instead of year-beginning to year-end (January to December).