Reps to sanction MDAs for 2021 budget implementation failures, says spokesman

The House of Representatives has warned that any Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that failed to implement the 2021 budget will be turned back from the defence of their 2022 budgets and may not get their appropriations.

The spokesman of the house, Rep. Benjamin Kalu (APC-Abia) made this known at a news conference on Thursday, in Abuja, after the 2022 budget passed second reading on the floor of the house.

Kalu said that the house frowns at MDAs that took monies from government and failed to implement what it was meant for, adding that the house was determined to change the narrative.

“It is one thing to move the budget early enough, it is one thing to return the budget from January to December circle, but it’s another thing to sabotage the government by saying you have not received 100 per cent funding and so there will be no implementation.

“There is no place where the Appropriation Act says you must receive 100 per cent funding before you start implementation.

“We frown at agencies of government that say we have only received 75 per cent, we only received 60 per cent and we are waiting for more to come before we begin, why don’t you start with the 60 per cent and when others come, you mobilise?

“To wait until the dying minute and then you give contractors 100 per cent, for them to perform, before coming for budget defence is a wrong strategy.

“This is one thing we want the MDAs to change and we are going to be on the lookout in the budget implementation defence when they appear before us.

“Most of them will be sent back, any MDAs that took government monies, kept it in the bank and refused to use it and are coming to tell us that it was not complete, they will be sent back.

“Some of them may not get appropriation for the new budget, because until you have justified what you took before, what is the essence of asking for more,’’ he said.

The lawmaker said that the house would also be on the look for MDAs that ignored resolutions of the house in their budget preparation, because as representatives of the people house had moved several motion meant to be implemented by the MDAs, but were not reflected in the budget.

“If you ignore the resolution of the parliament, and drafted your own budget without making reference to what the representatives of the Nigerian people have asked you to please consider, you have acted on your own, it is an exercise in futility.

“Because we are going to pick it up and match it against the Legislative Compliance Committee’s report and find out if the MDAs are complying with legislative resolutions, it is no longer an all comers’ affairs.

“If you ignore legislative resolutions and out of the blues you bring what is totally strange to us, be sure that we will question you on that and you must justify it or we take it out.

“I want to assure Nigerians that the budget will not leave the way it came to the National Assembly, it is either we take it up or bring it down.

“It will not be garbage in garbage out, a lot of work is going to be done,’’ he said.

Kalu announced that the house had adjourned to Nov. 9 to allow us consider the budget at the committee level. (NAN)