By Haruna Salami
The Senate has threatened to sanction heads of some revenue generating agencies, if they fail to honour its invitation to appear before the Joint Committee on Finance and National Planning on Thursday, to defend their positions as contained in the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF and Fiscal Strategy Paper, FSP.
The chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, Solomon Adeola issued the threat while presiding at the beginning of a Five-Day Public Hearing on the 2021-2023 MTEF/FSP, which saw some heads of the agencies either not appearing at all or sending in officers that cannot speak to revenue figures of their agencies with any authority.
“The 2021-2023 MTEF/FSP was sent to the Senate on July 20 for consideration by President Mohammadu Buhari preparatory to the presentation of the 2021 Appropriation Bill.
In line with the desire to achieve early passage of the budget to be in tandem with the January-December budget cycle, the Senate referred the MTEF/FSP to the joint Committee for consideration even while members are on recess.
“Any head of agencies that refused to appear before the Committee to defend figures it submitted as presented by the President to the Senate risks a zero allocation in the incoming budget among other penalties”, Adeola stated.
Among the agencies specifically mentioned by the Senate Joint Committee chairman whose heads are to appear on Thursday are Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigeria Communication Commission, Nigeria Shippers Council, NIMASA, FIRS, USFP and NNLG.
The Joint Committee public hearing was attended by the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, Deputy Senate Leader, Ajayi Boroffice, Senate Chief Whip, Orji Uzo Kalu and over 20 members from the two Senate Committee.
The MTEF/FSP public hearing continues on Thursday with Minister of Finance and otber ministers expected to be in attendance.