The Senate Joint Committee on Finance and National Planning on Wednesday threatened to sanction heads of some revenue generating agencies of the Federal Government if they fail to appear before it on Thursday (today).
The heads of the affected agencies had been invited to appear before the panel to defend their positions as contained in the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.
The chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Solomon Adeola, delivered the threat at the opening session of a five-day public hearing on the 2021-2023 MTEF/FSP.
He said some heads of the agencies did not appear at all while some sent their subordinates who could not speak on the revenue figures of their agencies.
Among the agencies specifically mentioned by the Senate whose heads must appear on Thursday (today) are the Federal Inland Revenue Service, the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigeria Communications Commission, Nigeria Shippers Council, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, and the Nigeria Natural Liquefied Gas.
The 2021-2023 MTEF/FSP was sent to the Senate on July 20 for consideration by the President, Major General Mohammadu Buhari (retd.), preparatory to the presentation of the 2021 Appropriation Bill.
Adeola explained that in line with the desire to achieve early passage of the budget to be in tandem with the January-December budget cycle, the Senate referred the MTEF/FSP to the joint committee for consideration even while members were on recess.
He said, “Any head of agencies that refused to appear before the committee to defend figures it submitted as presented by the President to the senate risks a zero allocation in the incoming budgeted among other penalties.
“We will be considering the revenue target of 50 revenue generating agencies of the Federal Government which have been categorised in to three.
“We have agencies that are fully funded from the federal budget, those that are partially funded from the budget and those that are financially independent of the budget of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We will also be looking at other sources of revenue which includes revenue accruing from the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas and all other agencies of the government that make contribution to the coffers of the government through biddings from dividends from partially owned government agencies.
“We will not accept appearance by proxy; only the head of agency and the chief executive of these agencies must appear.”
He added that any that ought to have appeared on Wednesday but did not must appear on Thursday unfailingly.