The House of Representatives has said that Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that failed to implement their 2021 budget because they were not given 100 per cent allocation may not be accommodated in the 2022 appropriation.
Briefing reporters, spokesperson of the House, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, described such attitude from the MDAs as sabotaging the efforts of the government.
As the House breaks into committees to scrutinise the budget proposal and assess the performance of MDAs from next week, Kalu said defaulters would be sent back.
He assured that the lawmakers would do a thorough job on the budget for the benefit of Nigerians.
He said: “It is one thing to move the budget early enough. It is another thing to return the budget to the January to December calendar. It is another thing to sabotage the government by saying you have not received 100 per cent and so there would be no implementation.
“There is nowhere the appropriation committee stated that you must receive 100 per cent funding before you start implementing the budget.
“We actually frown at the agencies or ministries who say they have only received 75 per cent or 60 per cent and are waiting for more to come before implementation. Why don’t you start with that 50 per cent that you have received and when the other ones come, you mobilise, especially on capital projects?
“To wait till the dying minutes and then start giving somebody 100 per cent for him to be able to perform on that before coming for presentation is a very wrong strategy, and this is one thing that we want the MDAs to change and that is what we are going to be looking out for in the budget implementation defence when they appear before us.
“Yes, most of them would be sent back. MDAs that took the money of the government and kept it in the bank and refused to use it and came to tell us that it was not complete, they would be sent back. And some of them may not get appropriation in this new budget because you have to justify what you took before. What is the essence of asking to give you more?
“Another thing we are going to be looking out for in this budget is those various resolutions that we reached as a parliament, which were supposed to be handled by the various MDAs for them to capture it in their budget. If you ignored the resolutions of the parliament and you drafted your own budget without reference to what the representatives of the Nigerian people have asked you to please consider while preparing your budget, you have acted on the frolick of your own.
“It is an exercise in futility because we are going to pick it up and we are going to match it against the legislative compliance committee’s report, who would find out whether the MDAS are complying with legislative resolutions. It is no longer an all comers affair.
“If we move for resolution for example and say while they are considering projects that had to do with ecology in this particular area, considered one, two, three, four projects, and then you ignore them and then out of the blues introduce something that is strange to us, be sure that we are going to question you on that and you will justify it or we take it out.
“I want to guarantee Nigerians that the budget would not be as it came to the National Assembly. It is either it goes up or it goes down. But it would not be garbage in, garbage out. A lot of work is going to be done, and as you know, the House has adjourned to the 9th of November to enable us consider at the committee level this budget, so that by the time we come back, we would be looking at the work done so far. And if there is need to go back again, we would go back. So from now till the 9th of November we will be meeting you mostly at the committee level.” –‘The Nation.