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2017 Budget: Why We Are Conducting Public Hearings – Dogara

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Yakubu Dogara, Bukola Saraki and Mohammed Danjuma Goje at the event in Abuja

The
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara says the National Assembly organised public hearings on the 2017 budget
in order to increase citizen and stakeholders participation, and to
entrench transparency and accountability in the budget process. 

Mr Dogara stated this during the opening session of the public
hearing on the 2017 Appropriation Bill, the first of its kind in the
history of Nigeria’s democracy since 1999.
Addressing
the gathering which comprised representatives of MDAs, ministries, and
civil society organisations, among others, the Speaker also said
the public hearing was being held in fulfillment of the 8th Assembly’s
commitment to reforming the budget process, given the experiences with
the processing and implementation of the 2016 Budget and the fact that
the 2017 Appropriation Bill is currently before the National Assembly. 
The
Speaker commended civil society organisations for their efforts towards
scrutinising past budgets and highlighting duplication and wastage, and
stated that a similar mechanism will be adopted by the House.
Speaking
on the debate surrounding powers of appropriation, Mr Dogara said; “that
legislative control over public funds is at the foundation of our
constitutional democracy and has never been in doubt.”
In
his concluding statement, the Speaker stated that reforms being introduced
into the budgeting process will result in amendment of existing laws.
He
urged Nigerians to make use of the opportunity offered by the
public hearing to interrogate the budget document in order to ensure
that the needs and priorities of the people hold sway eventually.

The hearing is expected to climax on Wednesday, 15th February, 2017.

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