The National Assembly and the Budget Process in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic: Tackling the Challenges of Timeliness

Albert T. Sam-Tsokwa, Christopher Ochanja Ngara


This paper examines the National Assembly and the budget process in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic with a view to tackling the perennial problem of late presentation of the Appropriation Bill by successive Presidents to the National Assembly; a laxity that has caused delay in the passage of the Appropriation Acts. The paper argues that since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999, successive Presidents have failed to meet the best practice of presenting the budget to the National Assembly 2-4 months before the commencement of the next fiscal year. This development is attributed to Section 81(1) of the 1999 Constitution which provides the timeframe for presentation of budget estimates to the National Assembly without timeline. These delays frequently cause reversionary budget provision and denies the people dividends of democracy. To ensure timeliness in the passage of the Appropriation Acts, Sections 81(1) and 82 of the 1999 Constitution and the FRA 2007 require amendment. A budget law such as the US Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act, 1974, ought to be enacted.



Nigerian National Assembly; Legislature; Budget process; Timeliness; Fourth Republic

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