Post Views: 224 Basking in the euphoria of last Thursday’s passage of the 2017 Appropriation Bill into law, the Senate on Tuesday lamented a situation...
Basking in the euphoria of last Thursday’s passage of the 2017 Appropriation Bill into law, the Senate on Tuesday lamented a situation where agencies of the Federal Government, with seeming impunity, fail to submit their spending plans for inclusion into the all-important national document.
A statement by the upper legislative chamber, noted the submission by Deputy Senate Leader, Bala Ibn Na’Allah as drawing attention to the abnormality during the day’s plenary, warning that it is wrong for Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the government to spend money that is not appropriated by the legislature.
Addressing his colleagues, Na’Allah stressed: “I deliberately decided that I will bring it on the flow, so that Senators will understand the implications. In our commitment to assist this government to fight corruption, we must stand on our feet that every spirit of our law must be obeyed by those holding public offices. I think that if you permit me, I will like to come tomorrow by way of motion, so it can be debated on the floor of the Senate.”
The only way the Senate can help the Muhammadu Buhari administration in its fight against corruption, he continued, “is to insist that gross abuse of power an misuse of power must be stopped by every government agency.
“The only way we can build our institutions is to radically address the issue of abuse of power and misuse of power.”
Commenting, Senate President Bukola Saraki condemned the practice where agencies of government spend money without statutory approval by the National Assembly and ruled that the issue be debated and resolution taken by the Senate on Wednesday.
His words: “We are already in May. How can parastatals be operating without any budget, especially in this time of the fight against corruption and ensuring that there is transparency in governance?
“We need to take this matter seriously because clearly these agencies are just flouting the guidelines and breaking the law. This is a very serious issue because as we all know, in line with the Fiscal Responsibility Act, these budgets are meant to have been submitted to the National Assembly since August 2016. They are supposed to have come with the Appropriation document.
“We have now passed the 2017 budget without the budgets of the parastatals. I think this matter really needs to come up as a motion because this is a very serious matter. We need to debate it.”