*Backs Implementation Of Orosanye’s Report To Save Economy
The upper chamber of the National Assembly on Wednesday backed the Stephen Orosanye-led Presidential Committee on rationalization of agencies, saying over 400 out of 541 Federal Government owned Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), are to be scrapped as recommended by the panel.
Recall that Orosanye’s panel had recommended the retention of 106 of the MDAs.
The Senate, has, however, said that it’s supporting the implementation of the Orosanye-led panel report to save the economy from self-inflicted bleeding.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Olamilekan Adeola (APC Lagos West), made this declaration on the second day of the ongoing interface between the Committee and heads of MDAs on the revenue drive for the implementation of the proposed N19.76trillion 2023 budget.
He said that it was unacceptable for an agency spending N500 million a year outside capital projects to be remitting N5 million into government coffers.
The lawmaker said that revenue generation is the most critical factor being considered by the federal government to decide on the 106 MDAs to be retained and over 400 others to be scrapped.
The position of the Senate on the scrapping of MDAs came to the fore, when the Director General of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Dr. Rufus Ebegba made a presentation on low revenue generation by the agency to the committee.
In his submission, the Director General said that only N2 million has been generated by NBMA this year as against the N5 million it usually generates on yearly basis and that, out of the N2.5 billion appropriated for the capital budget this year, only N1.3billion has been released.
Angered by the poor revenue generation of the agency, Senator Adeola told the Biosafety Management Agency boss, that it was unacceptable for an agency spending N500 million a year outside capital projects to be remitting N5 million into government coffers.
He declared that the time for such low revenue generation by any government agency was over, as those not meeting up, will be scrapped as recommended by the Orosanye panel.
He said: “There is no way in stopping the implementation of the Orosanye panel because of the economic situation at hand in the country.
“Government needs revenue for impactful budget implementation, particularly in the area of project execution, and can no longer afford to be dolling money to MDAs without corresponding returns on yearly basis.
“We in the Senate, are in support of the implementation of the Orosanye-led panel report to save the economy from self-inflicted bleeding.”
The submission made by the Managing Director of Sokoto Rima River Basin Development Authority (SRRBDA), Engineer Buhari Bature Mohammed, also angered the lawmakers, when he said that out of the N7billion collected from the government as funding for the year 2022; only an N7million revenue has been generated.
The Committee, which declared that the Orosanye report should be applied to agencies with yearly low revenue generation, also threatened zero budget allocation in the year 2023 for any agency whose accounting officer refused to honour the ongoing interface on revenue generation.