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Senate: MDAs delaying passage of 2018 budget

Senate: MDAs delaying passage of 2018 budget
February 28
17:56 2018

The senate has accused ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of delaying the passage of the 2018 budget.

Subsequently, the upper legislative chamber gave the MDAs an ultimatum of seven days to submit details of their 2018 budget proposal.

The senate gave the ultimatum after Sunny Ogbuoji, from Ebonyi state, drew the attention of the lawmakers to the delay by the MDAs in submitting their budget reports.

This is not the first time the senate is giving such ultimatum, except that this time, they are threatening to proceed without the input of the remaining MDAs.

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Speaking during plenary, Ogbuoji, who is the vice-chairman of senate appropriation committee, said the committee is having difficulty harmonising their report on the budget.

“Most of the sub-committees (on the 2018 budget) have huge challenges with the MDAs because majority of them are not coming forward to interface with them,” he said.

“Some of the ministers will tell you they are travelling out of the country and because of that, the MDAs are not fully ready.

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“Again, some of the MDAs don’t come back when asked to go and work on what they brought. And that is really delaying the work. That is why we don’t have a comprehensive report up till today.

Ike Ekweremadu, deputy senate president, accused the MDAs and ministers of “holding down” the country.

He suggested that the senate should consider taking what has already been presented to President Muhammadu Buhari from those MDAs, “instead of waiting for them forever.”

“So, instead of all of us suffering, let us give them few more days and after that, the relevant committees will adopt what was sent to us as the position of the MDAs, so that we go ahead and pass the budget,” he said.

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“The budget year is supposed to run from January to December but you can see now, it has been distorted. Sometimes it runs up till March. The 2017 budget is even running up to May 2018.”

Philip Tanimu, from the federal capital territory, concurred with him, saying “the belief out there is that the national assembly is not working on the budget”.

“If we continue like this, we may not pass this budget until June and Nigerians will not know it is the fault of these MDAs, not that of the national assembly,” he said.

The lawmakers, therefore, resolved the MDAs “maximum of the end of next week” to submit their budget details, adding that “anything that has not come by then, the (appropriation) committee should complete their report and work on what they have.”

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