By Christiana Ekpa and Ikechukwu Okaforadi
Senate yesterday issued a one-week ultimatum on Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to submit details of their 2018 budget proposals for consideration.
This followed a Point of Order, by the Senate Leader, Sennator Ahmed Lawan, who said that details of budgets must be presented to the Senate for consideration alongside the one presented by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2017.
According to Lawan, only the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) has presented what is required.
“Mr President submitted the national budget as well as the summary of the budgets of the agencies and by so doing, he has completed his work.
What is required of the agencies is for them to present the details of their budgets.
“My office has been working closely with the office of the Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly Matters, Ita Enang and we have insisted that the details of the budget must be presented to the Senate.
“This is necessary so that it would be considered alongside the 2018 budget and be passed as quickly as it can and together.
“I want this Senate to recognise that the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) presented and submitted what is required.
“I want this Senate to give an ultimatum of one week to all the agencies to submit the details of their budget to our committees to consider for appropriation,’’Lawan said.
In his remark, the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, said that the MDAs disregarded due process by failing to submit details of their budget proposals.
“This has been a matter we have been talking about for a very long time and these agencies continue to have total disregard for due process. I think it is very clear that the mandate we give to them is one week.
“Our cooperation should not be misread as weakness or not knowing what to do. “Definitely, we can mandate the Ministry of Finance to ensure that they do not further order releases because they are breaking the law.
“If after the one week and they don’t, then we will take necessary actions to show that they need to comply with the law,’’ Saraki said.