2017 Budget: Senate Issues Ultimatum To FG Agencies

The Senate has issued an ultimatum of one week to all agencies and corporations of the Federal Government that had yet to submit their 2017 budgets for scrutiny and appropriation to do so.

The agencies are those required by the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007, to submit their budgets to the National Assembly for approval independent of the national budget.

The affected agencies include the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), National Maritime Authority (NMA), Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigerians Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Nigerians Immigration Service (NIS), Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Federal Mortgage Bank (FMB) and Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) among others.

The assembly also gave the agencies a chance to submit the proposals to the relevant committees for onward transmission to the Senate leader for legislative action.

It added that all exercise for consideration should be done before the lawmakers would go for their annual recess.

The directive followed a motion by the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, during plenary.

Lawan said in respect of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007, the Senate had yet to officially receive the budgets of the agencies listed in the schedule.

“Last year, 2016, those proposals were submitted with annual appropriation. We need to have budget appropriations properly passed for these agencies and corporations.

“I believe that the time is already late but we still have to pass the budgets of these agencies.

“I, therefore, move that this Senate resolves that agencies that have not submitted those proposals in line with the Fiscal Responsibility Act must do so within the next one week.”

Seconding the motion, the Deputy President of the Senate, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu, urged the agencies to immediately comply with the law by submitting their budgets.

In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki said that, “in line with the Act, these budget estimates of the agencies should have come along with the budget presentation by President Muhammadu Buhari”.

“We have the intention that we will like to pass the budget before we leave. We should allow that the parastatals can submit those budgets to the committees which will now send to the leadership for it to be coordinated,

“By doing this, it is the kind of waiver that we are doing for the purpose of this year.

“The budget submission by these agencies must be done within a week, ” Saraki said.

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