NABRO’s administrative head, Mr. H.O Olutoye formally declared NABRO office open, marking the commencement of its full-scale operations. “The crisis affecting the budget process in Nigeria is threefold: crisis of formulation, crisis of implementation and crisis of monitoring thereby making budget passing a mere annual ritual. This workshop represents an effort to turn these challenges into opportunities for transformative change in the entire budget and appropriation processes in Nigeria, Olutoye concluded.
In Ogbugo Ukoha’s presentation, “The National Assembly Budget Process: A Strategic Outlook for NABRO”, he observed the critical role NABRO will play in the future of appropriation in Nigeria. Ukoha explained in great detail, the role of the American CBO office that the NABRO office is modeled after. According to him, prior to the establishment of the CBO office, America experienced the same challenges Nigeria is currently facing, such as mounting deficits, backdoor and uncontrollable spending, impoundment of funds.
The recent global economic recession has placed pressure on governments to be more accountable and responsive. In Nigeria, the outbreak of protests over the increase in the pump price of fuel in January 2012 attests to the desire of Nigerians for more transparency and accountability by the government. The 1999 Constitution empowers the National Assembly to make budgetary appropriations and oversee the management of public funds. There is no doubt that legislators need the assistance of experts to be able to play a major role in overseeing the national budget and controlling government spending.