The Senate has threatened to cut down the 2023 budgetary allocation of over 100 Ministry, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
The threat is based on the grounds that heads of the MDAs have repeatedly failed to appear before the Senate Public Accounts Committee to respond to queries raised in the Auditor General’s report and the allocation of Service Wide Votes.
In the report, from 2015 till date, the Auditor General indicted some MDAs for queries like frivolous spendings, misappropriation of funds, inability to account for money spent, and payment of salaries to dead or retired staff, among others.
While for the Service Wide Votes, some MDAs had collected funds from the SWV and failed to account for it and how it was disbursed or utilised.
Some of the affected MDAs include Ministries of Interior, Finance, Health Information, Foreign Affairs, Women Affairs, Communications and Special Duties.
Others are the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Police, State House, AMCON, NHIS, NEDC, INEC, Debt Management Office, NEMA, NAFDAC, National Human Rights Commission, and Ministry of Works and Housing, among others.
The Senate’s threat was a sequel to a Point of Order raised by Matthew Urhoghide, chairperson of the public accounts committee.
The lawmaker, under Orders 42 and 95, complained that the indicted MDAs have repeatedly ignored letters of invitation and summons sent out by the committee. He said they have failed to respond to queries raised by the Auditor General.
He reminded his colleagues that they are empowered by the Constitution and their Standing Orders to summon the indicted MDAs through arrest warrants or demand from the Senate President. He, therefore, prayed that they exercise their power.
In his response, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, said any public officer who accepts to serve and use public funds, must be prepared to account for the funds. And anyone who feels s/he is above the law should quit.
He read out the names of the MDAs, over 100 of them, and gave them one week to reach out to the public accounts committee and fix a date for a hearing.
“If any of them fails to do so, with no communication or verifiable reason, we will slash their 2023 budget,” he added.
See list of some indicted MDAs:
- Office Of The Accountant General Of The Federation.
- Federal Ministry Of Interior.
- Budget Office Of The Federation.
- Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Plc.
- Ministry Of Foreign Affairs.
- National Emergency Management Agency.
- National Commission For Refugees, Migrants And Internally Displaced Persons.
- Nigeria Security And Civil Defence Corp.
- Ministry Of Defence.
- Office Of the Special Assistant To the President On Niger Delta Affairs.
- The State House.
- Presidential Fleet.
- Ministry of Finance.
- Nigeria Army.
- The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
- Ministry Of Petroleum Resources.
- National Inland WaterWays Authority, Lokoja.
- Federal Ministry Of Health.
- Presidential Amnesty Program.
- Ministry Of Agriculture And Rural Development.
- Federal Civil Service Commission.
- Nigeria Nuclear Regulatory Authority.
- National Health Insurance Scheme.
- Ministry Of Communications And Digital Economy.
- Tertiary Education Trust Fund Tetfund.
- Federal Ministry Of Youth And Sport Development.
- Ministry Of Environment.
- National Hajj Commission Of Nigeria.
- Revenue Mobilization Allocation Fiscal Commission.
- Federal Ministry Of Information And Culture.
- Nigeria Defence Academy.
- National Human Rights Commission.
- Nigeria Centre For Disease Control.
- National Security Adviser etc.
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