–Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA) –From Mike SOGBOLA, Maiduguri:
Borno Governor, Professor Babagana Umara on Friday signed the 2020 appropriation bill into law with a warning to commissioners not to come to him with any expenditure outside the budget.
The governor told the commissioners that he will not entertain any submission to fund any project or programme that is not provided for in the budget.
The governor had presented his first budget of N134.5 on December 2, 2019 to the state assembly and the lawmakers passed the budget on December 23 with an adjustment to N146.8 billion.
The deputy speaker, Abdullahi Askira explained that the adjustment was to make up for gaps identified by the lawmakers during deliberations.
He added that the lawmakers were happy with the governor’s policy of respecting the separation of powers which guarantees the independence of the legislature.
The Governor’s policy, he noted, makes them carry out their oversight functions effectively.
The Governor thanked the assembly members for accelerated passage of the budget and said he intends to be strict in adhering to the provisions.
He said: “Under no circumstance should any member of the executive council (mostly commissioners) make any financial submission that is not provided for in the 2020 budget. All submissions to the executive council or to me must follow the provisions of the budget.
“Submissions will first of all be subjected to budgetary evaluation to ensure there is provision for them before the submissions are even considered. If we follow the provisions of the budget, we will make things easier for ourselves and we will achieve so much in orderly manner. We will be strict in implementing our budget.”
Borno’s Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Barrister Kaka Lawan who coordinated the brief ceremony, quoted constitutional provisions upon which the governor presented and signed the budget into law.