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Senate Threatens INEC, State House, Presidential Fleet, NDA, Others with Zero Budget Allocations, Kicks Against CBN’s N100,000 Weekly Withdrawal Policy

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The Senate yesterday threatened about  100 federal government owned agencies with zero budget allocations in 2023 for not honouring invitations of its Committee on Public Accounts on queries slammed them by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation .

This however is at it also kicked against plans by the Central Bank of Nigeria to limit cash withdrawal by any individual to N100,000 and Corporate bodies to N500,000 per week, from January 9, 2023.

The Senate hammer that affected the over 100 agencies including the State House , Presidential Fleet , Ministry of Finance , Nigeria Army , Navy, Airforce , Police , the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC ) etc was sequel to a complaint lodged against them by the Chairman , Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Mathew Urhoghide ( PDP Edo South) .

Senator Urhoghide had, through orders 42 and 95 of the Senate Standing Rules , rose to complain on alleged recalcitrance of heads of the affected agencies to honour invitations sent to them by his Committee for required appearance before queries were raised against them by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation, as regards financial infractions observed in their yearly budgetary implementations .

Urhoghide who hinged his complaints on the provisions of sections 62, 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution ( as amended) , said the heads of the affected agencies failed to honour several invitations sent to them to answer queries raised against them in Audit reports forwarded to the Committee by the Auditor General of the Federation.

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” Mr President , heads of agencies totalling about 100 , indicted in various audit reports forwarded to the Public Account Committee by Office of Auditor General of the Federation in line with provisions of sections 62, 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution, have repeatedly failed to appear before us.

” This to us , is against the Constitution and policy of accountability and transparency of the federal government .

“I crave your indulgence that we invite through your order either by way of warrant of arrest or anything so that these agencies can comes that we can complete our report and submit to this Senate “, he said .

Miffed by the submission , the President of the Senate , Ahmad Lawan, requested for the list of the affected agencies, read them out to all Senators and ordered that they should appear before the committee within one week or risk zero budget allocation in 2023 as far as capital expenditure component is concerned .

“Your point of order are sustained fully and completely, totally sustained, you are right on the dot to bring to the plenary your grievances .

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“Reading this list at plenary , gives the agencies opportunity to now know if they were not aware before for those that may claim ignorance and I am taking the opportunity here to advise that in the next one week if the name of any agency is here that agency should reach the committee on public account of the Senate to sort our when the agency would appear before the committee.

“If there is no communication whatsoever and no cogent and verifiable reason are given , we will Slash the budget of the agencies as far as capital component is concerned .

” Heads of the affected agencies must take this very seriously because any serving public officer must be ready to render accounts on public funds and if not ready to do so, should quit , since nobody should be above the law “, he thundered .

Other affected agencies aside ones earlier mentioned are ÷ Office Of The Accountant General Of The Federation, Federal Ministry Of Interior , Budget Office Of The Federation , Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Plc , Ministry Of Foreign Affairs , National Emergency Management Agency , National Commission For Refugees, Migrants And Internally Displaced Persons , Nigeria Security And Civil Defence Corp.

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