Reps Summon 63 Agencies For Illegally Spending $2 trillion.
63 Federal Government agencies have been called by the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts for implementing budgets that were not proposed by the President and approved by the National Assembly, resulting in approximately N2 trillion in illicit spending.
Oluwole Oke, the committee’s chairman, also demanded proof of appropriation by the National Assembly in a letter to Ben Akabueze, the director general of the Federation’s budget office.
While the clerk delivers passed budgets to the Presidency for implementation, it is envisaged that the President would submit budgetary proposals from MDAs to the National Assembly.
On October 7, 2022, when he presented the 2023 Appropriation Bill to a joint session of the National Assembly, Buhari criticized parliamentary committees for avoiding him and enacting budgets for government-owned enterprises without his consent.
“Distinguished Senators, Honorable Members, you may recall that we earlier merged the budget of Government-Owned Enterprises into the FGN’s 2019 budget submission,” the president had remarked. The FGN budget’s comprehensiveness and openness have been improved as a result of this.
However, it has come to my attention that in order to get their budget approved and issued to them immediately, Government-Owned Enterprises communicate with the pertinent NASS committees directly.
“I would want to humbly request the National Assembly leadership to guarantee that the budget I have presented here today, which includes the GOEs’ budgets, is returned to the Presidency when it has been approved.
It is against the norms and has to stop because some National Assembly committees currently pretend to vote budgets for GOEs that differ from the budgets approved by me and convey such directly to the MDAs.
The committee noted that the inquiry was based on the alarm raised by the President in a letter dated November 8, 2022, with Reference Number: HR/PAC/SCO5/9NASS/QUE.60/97, which was received at the Budget Office of the Federation on November 10, 2022.
Re-Request for Information/Documents with Respect to Allegations of Illegal Budget Approvals and Extra-Constitutional Expenditure by Some Government Owned Enterprises and Non-Treasury Funded Agencies was the title of the letter.
According to the Standing Rules of the House of Representatives, Section 2 of the Legislative Houses (Powers and Privileges) Act 2017, and the authority granted to the National Assembly (Assembly) by Sections 88 and 89 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) (Constitution), the Public Accounts Committee is conducting an investigation into the claim made by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR (Mr. President), during t
Mr. President said that some GOEs were submitting their budgets and getting them approved by various National Assembly committees outside of the procedure outlined in Section 81(1) of the Constitution.
I thus request that the Budget Office of the Federation provide the committee with the approved Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) budget of the following parastatals for the period of 2015–2022, taking into account the foregoing and in accordance with Sections 88 and 89 of the Constitution.
Please kindly deliver a soft copy and 15 hard copies of the aforementioned files to Suite 4.23 of the House of Representatives Building, National Assembly, by Friday, November 16, 2022, at the latest.
More information was provided by Oke, who stated, “Over N2tn was spent illegally. These budgets have never been submitted by or approved by the president.
They must explain to Nigerians why they are running unlawful budgets, or budgets that have been created without following the proper legal procedures.
They were never introduced to the parliament by Mr. President. The Speaker and Senate President failed to read or sight them on the floor. All of the agencies mentioned have received invitations.