By Henry Umoru
ABUJA—THE Senate yesterday raised the alarm that the proposed date of January by the Federal Government for passage of the 2018 Appropriation Bill will not be feasible due to what it described as the nonchalant attitude of government agencies and parastatals.
The Senate said that some people in government were not giving maximum cooperation to the National Assembly for the lawmakers to effectively carry out their responsibilities.
According to the Senate, the refusal by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN; Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC; Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR; National Bureau of Statistics, NBS and other government agencies and parastatals to defend their budgets before the upper chamber will affect the quick deliberation and passage of the 2018 Appropriation Bill.
Addressing journalists yesterday in Abuja, Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Sabi Abdullahi, APC, Niger North, decried a situation where chief executive officers of these agencies fail to appear but send their junior officers who do not have full knowledge of the activities of the agencies.
Senator Abdullahi particularly fingered the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Maikanti Baru; Governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele; Director- General of DPR, Director-General of NBS, Dr. Yemi Kale, among others, for not appearing before the Senate to defend their budgets.
Meanwhile, the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) was laid yesterday for debate and subsequent passage today.
Speaking further, Senator Sabi Abdullahi said: “We want to report that the Senate is disturbed by a new trend where heads or chief executives of critical institutions who should play a critical role in this budget process but who choose to ignore the invitation by the Senate to appear before it for deliberation.
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