By Sanni Onogu, Abuja
The Senate Joint Committee on Finance and National Planning, Tuesday threatened not to approve the budgets of Federal Government’s agencies whose heads refuse to appear before the panel to defend their proposals 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 (Lagos West), made the threat while presiding at the beginning of a five-day stakeholders’ interactive session on the 2021-2023 MTEF/FSP, in Abuja.
Among agencies specifically mentioned by Senator Adeola included the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Ports Authority, Nigerian Communications Commission, Nigeria Shippers Council, NIMASA, FIRS, NLNG, among others.
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Adeola said: “All agencies that are supposed to appear today that are not here must appear tomorrow unfailingly led by the heads of the respective agencies.
This Committee will not attend to any Head of an agency by proxy. It should also be put on record that if they refuse to appear to defend the briefs that we have from the Executive, we will not hesitate to ensure that such defaulting agencies have zero budgets for next year.
“It is a must for heads of agencies to appear because this document was put together by the executive and we need all the heads of agencies to come and defend what is before us.
“So, any Head of agency that fails to appear should as well know that for 2021 – 2023, there will be no budget.”
The session 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 of the joint Committee.