The senate yesterday threatened revenue generating agencies with zero allocation in the 2021 budget should they fail to appear before it and defend their positions as contained in the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditures Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP).
The joint committee on Finance and National Planning of the Red Chamber issued the warning after it became evident that some heads of the agencies were absent while some were represented by officers that could not speak on revenue figures of their agencies with any authority.
Chairman of the senate committee on finance, Mr. Solomon Adeola sounded the warning during the opening of a 5-day stakeholders’ interactive session on the 2021-2023 MTEF/FSP.
“The 2021-2023 MTEF/ FSP was sent to the Senate on July 20 for consideration by President Muhammadu Buhari preparatory to the presentation of the 2021 Appropriation Bill.
“And in line with the desire to achieve early passage of the budget to be in tandem with the January – December budget cycle, the senate referred the MTEF/FSP to the Joint Committee for consideration even while members are on recess.
“Any head of agency that refuses to appear before the committee to defend figures it submitted as presented by the President to the Senate risks a zero allocation in the incoming budget, among other penalties,” he said.
Adeola specifically mentioned the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG), Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC), Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone (OGFTZ), Nigeria Shippers’ Council (NSC) and Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
Other agencies are Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), and Industrial Training Fund (ITF).
The committee insisted that it was compulsory for all the heads of the agencies to honour its invitations in person as it would not accept representation by proxies.
“All the heads and chief executives of the agencies must be present in person for presentation. We will not accept a presentation by proxy. Any agency that refused to appear will face the dire consequences,” said Adeola.