Legislature To Expunge 60 Agencies From National Budget

Joseph Bakare

The Senate would be advising the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to exclude 60 federal agencies from getting allocation from the national budget, starting from next year.

Some of the affected agencies include Federal Inland Revenue Service, Nigeria Customs Service, Security and Exchange Commission, National BroadcastingCommission, and Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone Commission.

The move was due to the conviction that the agencies generate enough revenue to fund their overheads and payment of salaries, and would therefore not need to be funded from the national budget.

The Joint Committee on Finance and National Planning had concluded plans, on Friday, to include the proposal in its report which would be submitted to the Senate at plenary on resumption on September 15.

This joint panel on Tuesday concluded a five-day interactive session with the various Federal Government revenue generating agencies based on the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure and Fiscal Strategy Paper.

In its Joint Committee on Finance and National Planning had concluded plans, the Senate panel expressed disappointment with their poor revenue profile, huge wage bill and poor remittances to the Consolidated Revenue Fund account.

The Chairman of the senate joint committee, Senator Solomon Adeola, told the heads of the agencies after the session that many of them had no business receiving allocation from the federation account.

He said the Senate would work out an arrangement; to amend the Fiscal Responsibility Act that would stop the agencies from spending the money they generate as they pleased.

Adeola further stated that some of the agencies like the Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone Commission, had willingly pulled out of being funded from the federal budget; meaning they would no longer collect allocation for salaries and overhead from the federation account.

A anonymous member of the joint committee also said that the panel had identified 60 agencies that would henceforth be funding the national budget; and likewise be responsible for their overheads and salaries of their workers.

He said the affected revenue generating agencies cut across the agriculture; aviation; communications; education; energy; environment; health; maritime; as well as media; and also science and technology sectors of the economy.

He said, “We want to put an end to indolence and wastage of revenue. Many of the agencies have more than enough to remain on their own; but they are still being funded from the national budget. We are doing this in the interest of Nigerians; because we are tired of passing budgets that are not implementable due to deficit.”

Adeola, in his reaction, did not confirm the exact number of agencies that would exit the national budget; but said some had willingly agreed to pull out of being funded from the budget; and that their list had been compiled.

He stated, “We have invited all revenue generating agencies and ministries that are directly affected to ask questions; bothering on the document before us and to deliberate on how we can improve the revenue of the Federal Government.

“From what we have seen and witnessed, it goes to show that we have a lot of work to do; in the areas of ensuring that all government revenues get to the coffers of the government. Frivolous expenditure being used to take away the revenue will be blocked.

“This is just the beginning of good things to come. Once this has commenced, we would have a lot of savings and seriousness on the part of the government agencies.”

He said they were trying to put together the cost of collection to be given to all the revenue generating agencies; so the government could have enough revenue at its disposal to fund the budget.

“With the repositioning that we have started; we will ensure that all revenue generating agencies play their critical roles in supporting government’s programmes and policies,” he added.

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