…NAFDAC, others directed to revise budget downwards
By Emeka Anaeto, Business Editor
LAGOS—The Federal Government has set up a probe panel into budgetary conducts of its Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, with a view to curtailing budget padding.
Already, Ministry of Finance has launched an investigation which has unearthed several billions of Naira inappropriately inserted into the 2017 budget by most MDAs, and has subsequently queried the affected establishments.
A source in the Budget Office told Vanguard, last night, that over 100 MDAs have been indicted, while most of them were summoned to meet with a committee headed by the Accountant-General of the Federation to realign their figures.
Among some of the MDAs involved are the Nigerian Ports Authority, Niger Delta Development Commission, Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, Standards Organisation of Nigeria, Consumer Protection Council, The Pension Commission, National Insurance Commission, Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, Nigerian Communication Commission, National Emergency Management Agency and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC.
Vanguard learned that most of the MDAs involved have not tidied up the budgetary infractions for which they were summoned to the committee meeting, a development which may have informed further actions from the finance ministry.
Specifically in this direction, NAFDAC has been summoned to a meeting at the Finance Ministry today following a direct query from the Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, in a letter entitled, ‘Review of 2017 Revenue and Expenditure Estimates and Repayment of Outstanding Operating Surplus.’
In the letter copied to the Director-General of the Budget Office, Ministry of National Planning, and Chief of Staff to the President, dated March 13, 2017, the attention of the Director General of NAFDAC was drawn to present administration’s focus on fiscal discipline, financial accountability and maximization of revenue generation from its various agencies.
Beyond the 2017 budgetary infractions, the Finance Ministry also expressed displeasure with NAFDAC just like many other MDAs over unremitted revenue surpluses.
In the letter, the ministry stated: “In the interim, NAFDAC is advised to drastically revise its draft budget downwards in line with the fiscal discipline expected under the current administration.”