President Muhammadu Buhari has sent the 2016 budget proposal of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and 36 other agencies to the National Assembly for consideration and passage.
Senate President Bukola Saraki, who presided over yesterday’s session, announced that Buhari had asked that the budget for those agencies be given accelerated approval to allow them expend funds for various projects in line with their statutory laws and mandate.
Incidentally, the Senate has scheduled for today, an open debate on the alleged consistent refusal of the CBN to comply with the constitutional provision which stipulates that the apex bank must submit annual reports on its financial dealings to the National Assembly.
The Upper Legislative Chamber approved a request by Senator Dino Melaye under Senate Rule 42 to the effect that the Senate needed to investigate the financial dealings of the apex bank to expose what it had allegedly been keeping away from the National Assembly in breach of the constitution.
Melaye said: “I have some very disturbing reasons the Senate has not received reports from the CBN as regards their financial dealings. Mr. President, my colleagues, I want to appeal for two minutes to express some of these reasons we have not being receiving reports from the CBN.
“I have here the consolidated and separate financial statements for the year ended 31st, 2015 of the CBN signed by the CBN governor, the deputy governor and all the auditors.
“I just want to raise that there has been a lot of non-compliance with extant rules and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by the CBN and if given the opportunity, I would want to bring a substantive motion in another legislative day over these anomalies.”
According to Buhari’s letter, the other agencies include, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASEI), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), National Maritime Authority (NMA), Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), Nigerian Postal Service (NPS), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), National Communications Commission (NCC), National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
Others are National Insurance Commission (NIC), News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Nigerian Copyrights Commission (NCC), Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Radio Nigeria, Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA), National Business and Technical Examination Board (NABTEB), Federal Mortgage Bank, National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), as well as Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority (OGZFA)
The President said the proposals were sent to the lawmakers pursuant to the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007 which provides that the budget of agencies listed in the Act be collated and forwarded to the National Assembly for consideration.
He added that in line with the provisions of the Act, budget of the agencies and corporations which had been privatised or otherwise ceased to exist were not included therein.
“May I please pray the Senate to expeditiously consider and approve the budget of these agencies and corporations to enable them effectively execute their mandate.”