Senate moves to stop MDAs’ frivolous spending

The Senate on Monday stated its commitment to amend the Fiscal Responsibility Act this year.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Solomon Adeola, stated this on Monday at an investigative hearing undertaken by his panel with federal ministries and agencies.

Officials of the National Metallurgical Development Centre and those of the Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board appeared before the panel on Monday.

Adeola said the amendments would curb frivolous spending of gross incomes and operational surpluses allegedly being made by many of the revenue-generating ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

Adeola insisted that the Fiscal Responsibility Act must be amended to curb wastages by most of the government ministries, departments and agencies.

This, he explained, would help in boosting revenues of government and financing of yearly budgets with less deficit margin and external borrowings.

He said, “The committee is looking forward to the upcoming amendment of Fiscal Responsibility Act before us to jerk up government revenue. The idea of 80 per cent operational surplus is obsolete.

“The government has proposed 25 per cent, but we are proposing 60 per cent of your gross income to be deducted at source. So for every month, every revenue you generate, before you spend out of it, we will take 60 per cent of it. You are left with 40 per cent

“At the end of the year, after your account must have been audited, we will still come after your 80 per cent operational surplus. This is what the committee is proposing.

“All the ideas of deducting depreciation, donations from organisations not approved, and unwarranted expenditure, taken at a glance without revert to government.

“There will no longer be fixing of arbitrary salary and commission that is not approved by National Salaries and Wages Commission; all of these will be put to an end by the forthcoming amendment to the Fiscal Responsibility Act.”

Adeola had on Friday told the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, and Director General Budget Office that his panel had observed huge sums of unremitted fund running into about N2tn kept back by the MDAs.

He therefore sought their input into the investigation already started by his committee and the revelations unearthed during the over four weeks long probe.

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