Senate gives 7-day deadline to agencies, parastatals to submit budgets

The Senate on Wednesday gave an ultimatum of one week to all agencies and parastatal agencies of the Federal Government that had yet to submit their 2017 budgets for scrutiny and passage to do so.

The agencies are those required by the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007, to submit their budgets to the National Assembly for approval independent of the national budget.

The agencies include Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation and Nigerian Ports Authority.

The assembly also gave the agencies a chance to submit the proposals to the relevant committees for onward transmission to the Senate leader for legislative action.

It added that all exercise for consideration should be done before the lawmakers would go for their annual recess.

The directive followed a motion by the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, during plenary.

Lawan said in respect of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007, the Senate had yet to officially receive the budgets of the agencies listed in the schedule.

“Last year, 2016, those proposals were submitted with annual appropriation.

‘’We need to have budget appropriations properly passed for these agencies and corporations.

“I believe that the time is already late but we still have to pass the budgets of these agencies.

“I, therefore, move that this Senate resolves that agencies that have not submitted those proposals in line with the Fiscal Responsibility Act must do so within the next one week.

Seconding the motion, the Deputy President of the Senate, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu, urged the agencies to immediately comply with the law by submitting their budgets.

In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki said “in line with the Act, these budget estimates of the agencies should have come along with the budget presentation by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“We have the intention that we will like to pass the budget before we leave. We should allow that the parastatals can submit those budgets to the committees which will now send to the leadership for it to be coordinated,

“By doing this, it is the kind of waiver that we are doing for the purpose of this year.

“The budget submission by these agencies must be done within a week, ” Saraki said. – NAN.

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