The Senate has frowned at the non-submission of 2017 budget estimates by 34 out of the 38 revenue generating agencies to the National Assembly, in line with the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
The development comes nine months after the August deadline specified in the act for revenue generating agencies to submit to their annual budget estimates.
Although the agencies had allocations in the national budget passed last week by the National Assembly, Section 21 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007 stipulates that they attach separate budgetary proposals to the national budget for scrutiny on or before the end of August for National Assembly’s approval.
Flouting this provision, according to the apex legislative body, constitutes abuse of power and a violation of extant laws.
A substantive motion to this effect is expected to come up at Wednesday plenary for debate and resolution.
Section 21 (1-3) of the Fiscal Responsibility Act states that: “The Government corporations and agencies and government owned companies listed in the Schedule to this Act shall, not later than six months from the commencement of this Act and for every three financial years thereafter and not later than the end of the second quarter of every year, cause to be prepared and submitted to the Minister their Schedule estimates of revenue and expenditure for the next three financial years.
“Each of the bodies referred to in subsection (1) of this section shall submit to the Minister not later than the end of August in each financial year: (a) an annual budget derived from the estimates submitted in
pursuance of subsection (1) of this section; and (b) projected operating surplus which shall be prepared in line with acceptable accounting practices.
“The Minister shall cause the estimates submitted in pursuance of subsection (2) of this section to be attached as part of the draft Appropriation Bill to be submitted to the National Assembly”.
Out of the 38 agencies, only four have complied with the Fiscal Responsibility Act by submitting their budget estimates alongside the 2017 appropriation submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari in December 2016. They include: Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) and National Agencies for Science and Engineering Infrastructure.
The 34 agencies yet to submit their 2017 budget estimates include: Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority, Nigeria Nuclear Regulatory Authority, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), National Maritime Authority, Nigerian Shippers Council, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Others yet to comply include: Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Raw Materials Research and Development Council,q Nigerian Postal Service, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and Nigerian Ports Authority.
Also included are: Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Radio Nigeria, Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), National Communications Commission (NCC) National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) among others.
Section 80 (4) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) provides that all Revenue Generating Agencies shall not spend revenues they generate except in the manner prescribed by the National Assembly.