The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry Limited (ACCI) has appealed to the Federal Government for financial discipline in the implementation of the 2016 budget passed by the National Assembly.
The President of the Chamber, Mr Tony Ejinkonye, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday.
A budget of N6.8 trillion was submitted by the Executive arm of government to the National Assembly for consideration for the 2016 fiscal year
but N6.6 trillion was approved and passed on Wednesday.
Ejinkonye said that given the controversy that surrounded the passage of the budget, there was need to ensure its full and prudent implementation.
“We need a lot of discipline; we need a lot of financial discipline. A budget is a plan but for us to implement the budget; it will take a lot of discipline.
“If government is asking us to tighten our belt, it has to be open and transparent in all its expenditure.”
The ACCI boss said that Nigerians, especially business people, expected speedy passage of the budget, given the challenges in the economy, noting that earlier inconsistency and anomalies noticed in the budget led to the delay in its passage.
“We expected the budget to be speedily passed but it took time after the first presentation and its disappearance and subsequent issues that came out of the budget.”
He, however, expressed joy that the anomalies in the budget had been corrected.
On the reduction of the budget estimate, Ejinkeonye, said it was immaterial, noting that what mattered was judicious implementation of the budget.
He said Nigerians, especially the organised private sector, had waited patiently for the passage of the budget, saying that the passage would revamp economic activities in the country.
He expressed optimism that the full implementation of the budget would help to bring succor to the economy.
The chamber president said he was happy to hear that the National Assembly had also pledged to publish its budget estimate and
urged other agencies of government like the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to do same
for public scrutiny.