The Senate on Tuesday directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and 35 other Federal Government agencies to submit their 2017 budget proposals for approval or risk sanctions.
The upper chamber of the National Assembly stated that it was unbecoming that five months into the year, 38 statutory agencies of the Federal Government have failed to submit their budget proposal for the 2017 fiscal year.
It further stated that the agencies continued to make huge extra budgetary expenditure against the law establishing them.
Speaking on Tuesday, the Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah (Kebbi South), who dragged the attention of the Senate to the matter, said it was abnormal for the agencies not to have submitted their budgets for approval by the National Assembly.
He further stressed that it was wrong for agencies to spend money that has not been appropriated by the legislature.
Na’Allah told the Senate 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.
He said: “I deliberately decided that I will bring it on the floor, so that Senators will understand the implications.
“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.”
Reacting to Na’Allah’s submission with an approval, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, expressed displeasure over the failure by most government agencies to submit their 2017 budget proposals to the National Assembly for consideration and approval.
Saraki condemned the practice where agencies of government spend money without statutory approval by the National Assembly.
The senate president ruled that the Senate would comprehensively debate the issue and take a resolution today (Wednesday).