The acting president, Yemi Osinbajo, has issued an executive order outlining the timeline and procedure for government offices to submit their yearly budgets, less than two days after the Senate demanded offices comply with the relevant fiscal law within two weeks.
The Senate had on Wednesday asked Mr. Osinbajo to ensure the submission of the budgets of 31 government establishments, including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Nigerian Ports Authority.
Section 21 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act demands that proposed revenue and expenditure of the mostly 31 revenue-generating and state-owned companies be submitted to their supervisory ministers not later than end of August of each financial year.
Lawmakers have for years accused powerful agencies like the state oil firm, NNPC, of non-compliance.
The Senate said the executive had breached the law “year in year out”, and issued a two-week ultimatum for compliance.
Mr. Osinbajo responded Friday with an executive order warning relevant offices of “appropriate sanctions” if they fail to comply henceforth.
According to the order, all agencies of government, including those not listed in the Fiscal Responsibility Act, are to prepare and submit their budgets for the next three years to the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Budget and National Planning on or before the end of May every year.
The agencies are then expected to submit their annual budgets derived from estimates of revenue and expenditure projected in the three-year schedule to the ministers, on or before end of July – a month earlier than provided for by the Act.
Afterwards, the budgets would be transmitted to the National Assembly for approval.
The acting president also directed government agencies to stop spending on any capital or recurrent expenditure, except personnel costs, pending approval of their budgets.
Read the full text of the executive order
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.
2. All Agencies shall, on or before the end of July every year, cause to be prepared and submitted to the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Budget and National Planning their annual budget estimates, which shall be derived from the estimates of revenue and expenditure as projected in their three-year schedule.
3. 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.
4. Supervising Ministers and Heads of Agencies as well as the Chief Executive Officers of Government owned companies shall verify that the process of preparation, harmonisation and collation of budget estimates are as stipulated in relevant laws and guidelines as well as ensure strict compliance with this Executive Order.
5. Except with the express consent of the President, no payment shall be made in respect of any capital or recurrent liability of an Agency, other than payment of due salaries and allowances, unless the Agency has an approved budget and the payment is in conformity with the approval.
6. Heads of Agencies and Chief Executive Officers of Government owned companies shall take personal responsibility and be subject to appropriate sanctions for any failure to comply with this Order.
7. 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.
8. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately.
Dated this 18th day of May 2017.
Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON
Acting President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria