The Senate has threatened to sanction heads of some revenue generating agencies of the Federal Government if they fail to appear before the Senate Joint Committee on Finance and National Planning to defend their positions as contained in the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework And Fiscal Strategy Paper, MTEF/FSP after being duly invited.
The chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance Senator Solomon Adeola Olamilekan made the threat while presiding at the beginning of a Five-Day Public Hearing on the 2021-2023 MTEF/FSP which saw some heads of the agencies not appearing at all or sending in officers that cannot speak to revenue figures of their agencies with any authority.
“ The 2021-2023 MTEF/FSP was sent to the Senate on July 20 for consideration by President Muhammadu Buhari preparatory to the presentation of the 2021 Appropriation Bill. And in line with the desire to achieve early passage of the budget to be in tandem with the January-December budget cycle, the Senate referred the MTEF/FSP to the joint Committee for consideration even while members are on recess. Any head of agencies that refused to appear before the Committee to defend figures it submitted as presented by the President to the Senate risks a zero allocation in the incoming budgeted among other penalties” he stated.
Among the agencies specifically mentioned by the Senate Joint Committee chairman whose heads are to appear are Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA , Nigeria Communication Commission, NCC, Nigeria Shippers Council, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Universal Service Provision Fund, USPF and NNLG.
The Joint Committee public hearing was attended by the Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Ajayi Boroffice, Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzo Kalu and over 20 members from the two Senate Committee.