Senate on Wednesday issued a one-week ultimatum to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to submit details of their 2018 budget proposals for consideration or face sanction.
The upper legislative chamber gave the directive after Senate Leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan, raised a point of order telling the Senate that out of 64 government agencies, only the National Communications Commission (NCC) has submitted details of its 2018 budget proposal.
Senator Lawan stressed the need to give the MDAs the ultimatum of submitting their budget proposals so that they could be considered alongside the national budget presented by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2017.
He said: “Mr. President submitted the national budget as well as the summary of the budgets of the agencies and by so doing, he has completed his work.
“What is required of the agencies is for them to present the details of their budgets.
“My office has been working closely with the office of the Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly Matters, Ita Enang and we have insisted that the details of the budget must be presented to the Senate.
“This is necessary so that it would be considered alongside the 2018 budget and be passed as quickly as it can and together. “I want this Senate to recognise that the Nigeria Communications Commission presented and submitted what is required.
“I want this Senate to give an ultimatum of one week to all the agencies to submit the details of their budget to our committees to consider for appropriation,’’Lawan said.
In his remarks, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, expressed disappointment that irrespective of efforts by the Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters (Senate) to President Buhari, Senator Ita Enang, agencies have failed to submit their 2018 budget details to legislature.
Saraki lamented that the MDAs disregarded due process by failing to submit details of their budget proposals, saying “this has been a matter we have been talking about for a very long time and these agencies continue to have total disregard for due process”.
“I think it is very clear that the mandate we give to them is one week. “Our cooperation should not be misread as weakness or not knowing what to do.
“Definitely, we can mandate the Ministry of Finance to ensure that they do not further order releases because they are breaking the law.
“If after the one-week and they don’t, then we will take necessary actions to show that they need to comply with the law’’, the senate president stressed.