Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has given agencies, parastatals and government-owned companies up until Friday to submit the details of their budgets to the National Assembly for consideration in accordance with the law.
He also directed heads of the agencies to honour invitation from the National Assembly to defend their budgets without further delay.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, conveyed the President’s directive in a circular dated March 19, 2018, a copy of which was made available to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday.
Mustapha said it had come to the government’s attention that the agencies had not fully complied with the provisions of Section 21 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007.
He reminded the agencies that “the FRA 2007 provides that consequent upon laying of summary of budget estimates of agencies listed on the schedule to the FRA alongside the National Budget by the President, it is required that details of such budgets are made available to the National Assembly for consideration and passage.”
Mustapha added, “Mr. President has directed that agencies, corporations and government-owned companies on the schedule of the FRA 2007 to comply with the provisions of the law.
“All submissions (109 copies to the Senate and 360 copies to the House) should be made available to the appropriate committees of the National Assembly.
“Copies should also be made available to the SSAP on National Assembly Matters (Senate and House of Representatives), not later than Friday, March 23, 2018.
“All agencies, corporations and government-owned companies should honour invitation to defend their estimates.
“Supervising ministers are enjoined to ensure timely compliance with the content of this circular.”
The National Assembly leaders had during a meeting they had with Buhari on Thursday called the President’s attention to the failure of some agencies to present details of their budgets.
At the end of the meeting, Mustapha had told State House correspondents that Buhari had directed all ministers and parastatals to appear before the National Assembly to defend their budgets.
Mustapha had said, “The President gave them (the lawmakers) updates on security, economy, job creation, processes in the National Assembly especially with regard to the budget and the need to conclude on them.
“Mr. President has given an instruction that all ministries and parastatals should ensure that they appear before the National Assembly to defend their submissions so that we can get this out of the way.
“You know this is a very dynamic year and there are preparations for elections and we are facing a lot of security challenges and so if we don’t appropriate, where will the money come from?”
The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, also disclosed that the meeting was on budget, security and other national issues.
He said the National Assembly leadership also gave the President their opinions during the interaction.
Saraki said the legislature was working on the budget, noting that some agencies were yet to defend their budgets.