QUESTION OF THE DAY
The Government cannot provide services like health, education, water and other amenities without money. This is why it has to have an annual budget to finance services for a whole year. If Government could raise money and spend it as it wants, there would be no accountability. This is why the Constitution requires Government to raise money and spend it to maintain services by relying on law. That law is called an Appropriation Act. It is the National Assembly that must review and pass the bill that authorises how much the government is to spend and on what items.
The process of coming up with an Appropriation Act starts with estimates of revenue and expenditure which must be approved by the National Assembly within fourteen days, after its presentation by the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs.
In short, Section 152 of the Constitution requires the President to cause the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs to Present Estimates of expenditure and revenue for the next financial year, within 30 days before the end of the immediately preceding financial year, to the National Assembly, for approval. After approval, an appropriation bill is prepared and presented to the National Assembly which is marked by the annual budget speech. The Appropriation bill must be passed within 7 days to provide for the budget of the Government for the next financial year. This is how Government get funds on an annual basis, to finance public services.