Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 17 May 2017 | 1,299 times
The Nigerian Senate has frowned at the failure of government ministries and agencies to submit their 2017 budget proposals to the National Assembly in line with extant law.
This followed the Point of Order raised by Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah, during the plenary on Tuesday, drawing the attention of his colleagues to the abnormality.
He said: “It is wrong for agencies to spend money that has not been appropriated by the legislature,” adding: “I intend to bring the issue to the floor as a motion so that Senators will understand the implications and the need to assist the government to fight corruption.”
Na’Allah added: “In our commitment to assist this government to fight corruption, we must stand on our feet that every spirit of our law must be obeyed by those holding public offices. I think that if you permit me, I will like to come tomorrow by way of motion, so it can be debated on the floor of the Senate.”
Ruling on the Point of Order, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, expressed displeasure over the issue and condemned the practice where agencies of government spend money without statutory approval by the National Assembly.
Saraki ruled that the issue be debated and resolution taken by the Senate on Wednesday plenary.
He added: “We are already in May. How can parastatals be operating without any budget, especially in this time of the fight against corruption and ensuring that there is transparency in governance?
“We need to take this matter seriously because these agencies are just flouting the guidelines and breaking the law. This is a very serious issue because as we all know, in line with the Fiscal Responsibility Act, these budgets are meant to have been submitted to the National Assembly since August 2016.”
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