The Senate, Wednesday, gave a two weeks ultimatum to government agencies who are yet to submit their budget proposal for scrutiny.
Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah had, Tuesday, drew the attention of his colleagues to the abnormality during plenary, insisted that it was wrong for agencies to spend money that has not been appropriated by the legislature.
Na’Allah noted that he intends 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.
“I deliberately decided that I will bring it on the floor, so that Senators will understand the implications,” Na’Allah said.
“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.
“The only approach this Senate can take to assist this government in fighting corruption, is to insist that gross abuse of power and misuse of power must be stopped by every government agency.
“The only way we can build our institutions is to radically address the issue of abuse of power and misuse of power. I think that if you give me permission, I will like to bring it tomorrow as a motion.”
In his contribution, Deputy President of the Senate, Mr Ike Ekweremadu, said “we are here talking about responsibility of governance, there cannot be any hard responsibility than Fiscal Responsibility because that is the beginning of all evils.
“We must begin to ensure that we live by the laws we make for ourselves. “If we say that ministers are supposed to send the estimates of various agencies under them with the Appropriation Act of each year that has to be done.
“I recall in 2016, President Muhammadu Buhari sent to this National Assembly the Appropriation Act for that year together with those estimates. “But, in 2017, the ministers find it impossible to accompany the same Appropriation Bill with those estimates of the agencies under them.
“We cannot be going forte and back. I believe that this is time for us to insist under Section 88 that gives us power of oversight that this has to be done. “We make laws here for the good governance of this country and that is actually what we have to insist,” he said.
In his remarks, President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, said that the motion was at the heart of the fight against corruption. “It is very important that some independent revenue agencies even exceed how much we get from oil revenue.
“So, this is a huge amount to our revenue line. We are talking about looking for money to fund projects, hospitals, education etc; this is where the source of the revenue is.
“And, I cannot see how we can continue in a society where we are fighting corruption, where people will be spending money without approval, without appropriation. “It must stop; it will stop and is going to stop from now,” Saraki said.
The full list of agencies yet to submit their budget, as released by the Senate, below:
Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASEI), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), National Maritime Authority (NMA), Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), Nigerian Postal Service (NPS), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA),
Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), National Communications Commission (NCC), National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
Others are National Insurance Commission (NIC), News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Nigerian Copyrights Commission (NCC), Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Radio Nigeria, Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).
National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA), National Business and Technical Examination Board (NABTEB), Federal Mortgage Bank, National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), as well as Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority (OGZFA).