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Budget defence: Senate threatens MDAs with zero allocation

The Senate has threatened zero allocation to any government agency, whose chief executive failed to appear before its relevant committees for budget defence sessions. It…

The Senate has threatened zero allocation to any government agency, whose chief executive failed to appear before its relevant committees for budget defence sessions.

It also tasked all revenue-generating agencies to meet up and even surpass their projected revenue targets in the 2024 fiscal year.

Senate President Godswill Akpabio stated this Tuesday at a one-day retreat held for heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) by the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

Akpabio said no matter how beautiful a budget proposal is, its implementation lies on the availability of revenue.

“My message at this gathering to all the heads of MDAs, particularly those in charge of generating revenue, is revenue drive, revenue drive and revenue drive.

“Assumptions and projections of the N27.5 trillion 2024 budget have been declared to be realistic but only the availability of enough revenue can make them realisable and implementable, particularly the capital projects.

“The National Assembly is ready to collaborate with the executive for successful implementation of the budget by passing it in record time for the sustenance of the January to December budget implementation cycle.

“All agencies should help in blocking loopholes, leakages and wastages for making available more money for project execution across the country,” he said.

The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Barau Jibrin, said the country’s revenue projection was increased following the collaboration between the legislature and the executive.

He said, “When the executive in 2022 brought forward its proposal in terms of revenue projection for 2023, the figure was less than what we have as a target. But our finance committee did a very good job.

“I was able to move several revenue items forward. And there was an argument that came forward with the ministry of finance that they could not actualize. But later we agreed to increase the revenues substantially, both oil and non-oil revenues and we were able to realize that.”

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Solomon Adeola (APC, Ogun) warned that any head of the agency who failed to appear before relevant committees for budget defence risks zero allocation.

The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Mr Wale Edun, said Nigeria needs to explore climate financing to shore up revenue to fund the 2024 budget.

Edun, while acknowledging that Nigeria’s fiscal space was exhausted in line with the position of the International Monetary Fund, IMF, proposed a strategic shift towards concessional funding including climate financing as a viable solution.

“Nigeria’s fiscal space is exhausted, we have to focus on the concessional funding, the cheaper funding, even free funding and climate financing is the way.

“The solution is that we have to focus on concessional funding, the cheaper funding, even free funding, and climate financing is the way,” he said.

He highlighted the urgency of addressing the fiscal constraints and reducing dependence on borrowing particularly foreign borrowing.

 

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