Senate Outburst: FG Bars MDAs From Non-budgeted Capital Spending

Buy-Nigeria Goods To Gulp 40% Of Procurement Spending

Apparently irked by unhealthy practice of non-presentation of their annual budgets to the Senate as required by law, the Federal Government, on Thursday forbade its Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) from making payments beyond payments of salaries and allowances outside of their approved spending plans.
In an executive order signed by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, the Federal Government said such payment of capital or recurrent liability of an Agency without an approved budget would henceforth only be made “with the express consent of the President.”
The Senate had, based on complaints made by Senate Leader, Bala Ibn Na’Allh, on Tuesday, lamented a situation where 38 MDAs, including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigerian Customs Service and the Nigerian Ports Authority, spend monies without submitting their budgets for approval by the Senate, in line with relevant laws of the country. The upper chamber had consequently given Ministers two weeks to present the budgets of Departments and Agencies under their supervision.
This is one of the three Executive Orders issued by the Acting President, after holding an interactive session with all relevant government officials, including ministers, permanent secretaries and heads of departments and agencies among others at the old Banquet Hall of Presidential Villa.
The session, Laolu Akande, spokesman to Prof Osinbajo, was meant to directly engage government officials who would be implementing the orders and the new instructions.
According to the executive order on the budget of MDAs, signed by the Acting President on Thursday, “all agencies, whether or not listed in the Fiscal Responsibility Act, shall, on or before the end May every year, cause to be prepared and submitted to the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Budget and National Planning their schedule of revenue and expenditure estimates for the next three financial years.”
The agencies are also to prepare and submit to the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Budget and National Planning their annual budget estimates derived from the estimates of revenue and expenditure as projected in their three-year schedule, before the end of July every year.
Thereafter, a “joint committee of the Ministries of Finance, and the Budget and National Planning shall review such estimates and ensure their conformity with the national plan and the financial and budgetary regulations before processing them for approval and early transmission to the National Assembly.”
Supervising Ministers and Heads of such agencies as well as the Chief Executives of government owned companies, the order continued, are responsible for verifying that the budget process and estimates are as stipulated in relevant laws and guidelines. They must equally ensure strict compliance with the Executive Order and be subject to appropriate sanctions for any failure to comply with this Order, for which they shall take personal responsibility.
Consequently, the order dated May 18, 2017, released by Akande, directed that “any revenue or other funds of an Agency in excess of the amounts budgeted and duly expended shall accrue to the consolidated revenue fund of the Federal Government.”
Meanwhile, following from his recent tour of the country, Osinbajo also signed an executive order directing Federal Government MDAs to immediately give presence to goods from local manufacturers, contractors and service providers
Specifically, the order requires that “Made-in-Nigeria products shall be given preference in the procurement of the following items and at least 40% of the procurement expenditure” on certain items in all such MDAs.
Such items include uniforms and footwear of military and para-military organisations, as well as the National Youth Service Corps; food and beverages; furniture and fittings; stationery; and motor vehicles. Others are pharmaceuticals; construction materials; as well as information and communication technology.
Heads of all MDAs of the FGN were subsequently given 90 days from the date of the order to, among others, “propose policies to ensure that the Federal Government’s procurement of goods and services maximises the use of goods manufactured in Nigeria and services provided by Nigerian citizens doing business as sole proprietors, firms, or companies held wholly by them or in the majority.”
Such findings are to be submitted to the Minister of Industry, Trade & Investment, who shall within 180 days from the date of the order, in consultation with the Director-General of the Bureau for Public Procurement, “submit to the President, a report on the Made-in-Nigeria initiative that includes (such) findings…  (including) specific recommendations to strengthen the implementation of Local Content Laws and local content procurement preference policies and programmes.”

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