Insecurity

By Henry Umoru, Abuja

THE Senate said, yesterday, there may be need to reduce the number of Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, from 541 to 400, following the low revenue accruing to the federation account.

It said the scrapping of the 400 MDAs would be in consonance with recommendations of the Stephen Oronsaye-led Presidential Committee on rationalisation of agencies.

According to the Senate, revenue generation is the most critical factor being considered by the Federal Government to decide the 106 MDAs to be retained and over 400 others to be scrapped .

Speaking, yesterday, in Abuja on the second day of the ongoing interface between the committee and heads of MDAs on revenue drive for the implementation of proposed N19.76 trillion 2023 budget, Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance Senator Olamilekan Adeola (APC, Lagos West), said the Oronsaye panel recommended retention of 106 of the MDAs.

The imminent scrapping of low revenue generating MDAs by the Federal Government, as declared by Senator Adeola, reared its head when the Director-General of National Biosafety Management Agency, NBMA, Dr Rufus Ebegba, made presentation of low revenue generation by the agency to the committee.

In his presentation, Ebegba explained that only N2 million had been generated by NBMA this year, against N5 million it usually generates on yearly basis, adding that of the N2 .5 billion appropriated for capital budget this year, only N1.3 billion had been released.

Not happy with poor revenue generation, Adeola told the Biosafety Management Agency boss that it was unacceptable for an agency spending N500 million a year, outside capital projects, to be remitting N5 milllion into government coffers.

He declared that the time for such low revenue generation by any government agency was over as, according to him, those not meeting up would be scrapped as recommended by the Oronsaye panel .

Senator Adeola said: “There is no way in stopping the implementation of Orosanye panel because of economic situation at hand in the country.

“Government needs revenue for impactful budget implementation, particularly in the area of projects execution and can no longer afford to be dolling money to MDAs without corresponding returns on yearly basis.

“We in the Senate , are in support of implementation of the Orosanye led panel report to save the economy from self – inflicted bleeding.”
The committee members further got annoyed when the Managing Director of Sokoto Rima River Basin Development Authority, SRRBDA, Engineer Buhari Bature Mohammed, said of the N7billion collected from government as funding for year 2022, only N7million revenue had been generated.

The committee declared that Oronsaye report should be applied on agencies with yearly low revenue generation.

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