Senate, yesterday, threatened to give zero budgetary allocation to agencies of government that failed to appear before its Committee on Finance and National Planning at the ongoing five-day stakeholders’ interactive session on the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP). Issuing the threat at the opening session of the interactive hearing, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Solomon Adeola, said that Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that failed to appear to defend its inputs in the 2021-2023 MTEF/ FSP would be punished with zero budgetary allocations for 2021-2023 budget years. He noted that the 50 revenue generating agencies of the Federal Government must appear before the committee to defend its input in the 2021-2023 MTEF and FSP documents, which he said were compiled by the affected establishments.
His words: “This document was put together by the Executive and we need all the heads of agencies to come and defend what is to befall us. So any agency that fails to appear with its Chief Executive should as well know that from 2021 to 2023, there will be no budget.”
Adeola cautioned that in addition to zero allocations to agencies that would fail to appear before the committee, such establishments would also be made to face other severe sanctions from the Senate, pointing out that the committee had the backing of the apex legislative chamber to conduct the public hearing. According to the lawmaker, the public hearing on the 2021-2023 MTEF and FSP is unique because of the challenge of sources of revenue generation for the country, occasioned by the outbreak of Coronavirus and its devastating effects on the economy. He stated that the public hearing on the MTEF and FSP documents would focus on the oil benchmark, exchange rate proposed, and the revenue targets given to the 50 revenue generating agencies.
He further noted that the public hearing would also discuss other sources of revenue for the country like the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and how other agencies of government should contribute towards increasing revenue profile of the government. Three agencies appeared and made presentations on the 2021-2023 MTEF and FSP documents yesterday namely: the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Galaxy Back Bone and Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). The committee directed the Comptroller-General of Immigration, Mohammed Babandede, to appear alongside the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, today, on issues pertaining to contract with CONTEC company over collection of residence permit card fees. The committee also invited the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, alongside Director-General of NCAA, to also appear today on issues of safety and BASA fund utilisation in the aviation sector.
The committee further listed the MDAs and their heads to appear today to include the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria Shippers Council, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), and Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA). Others are Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), and Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC).