Trouble as Senate threatens CBN, NNPC, others over failure to submit budgets
The Senate has threatened to move against Federal Government corporations, agencies and parastatals who have yet to submit their 2017 budgets to the legislature.
At the plenary on Tuesday, the upper chamber of the National Assembly threatened to bar affected agencies from spending on their capital projects.
The threat came when the Deputy Majority Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah, raised a point of order in which he said none of the agencies had submitted their budget reports to the Senate despite that the deadline for submission, as prescribed by the Fiscal Responsibility Act, is September.
Na’Allah said, “I am the one responsible for the collation of reports and we have not received one single report regarding the budget of parastatals, which were supposed to have been given by September. I want to put it on record. We have not received any report. I don’t know whether the chairmen have received.”
President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, who was shocked by the announcement, interjected Na’Allah and asked chairmen of committee in the chamber to confirm or deny the claim, and they answered in the negative.
Saraki said, “This is a very serious issue because, as we all know, in line with the Fiscal Responsibility Act, these things are meant to have been submitted since August – and the worse to come with the appropriation document (2017 Appropriation Bill). We have now passed it and no report (from the agencies).
“I think this matter really needs to come as a motion because it is a very serious matter. We need to debate it because we are already in May. And how can patastatals be operating without any budget, especially in this time of fight against corruption? Punch