The Senate on Tuesday raised a Fresh alarm over the activities of some Federal Government parastatals who have failed to present their 2016 budget report to the senate and have continued to spend money without the approval of the National Assembly.
Deputy Senate Leader, Ibn Na’ allah who made the observation on Tuesday on the floor of the Red chamber informed his colleagues that the practice of some of these parastatals was clearly flaunting the appropriation act.
Coming through Order 43[ Personal Explanation] Senator Na’ Allah said ‘‘ We have not received one single report from the Parastatals, which ought to have been received since August 2016’’.
“In our commitment to assist this government to fight corruption, we must stand on our feet that every spirit of our law must be obeyed by those holding public offices. I think that if you permit me I will like to come tomorrow by way of motion, so it can be debated on the Floor of the Senate.”
Na’Allah added that “The only approach this Senate can take to assist this government in fighting corruption, is to insist that gross abuse of power and misuse of power must be stopped by every government agency. The only way we can build our institutions is to radically address the issue of abuse of power and misuse of power. I think that if you give me permission, I will like to bring it tomorrow as a motion.”
A surprised President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki who could not hide his anger was compelled to confirm the allegations made by Na’ allah from Committee Chairmen who reported for plenary business early as he called on committee Chairmen for Banking and Finance and Chairman Senate Committee on Gas who confirmed in the affirmative.
Saraki said ‘‘ We all know in Line with the Fiscal Responsibility Act this document should be submitted since August, we are already in May, how are the parastatals operating’’
‘’These agencies are clearly flaunting the guidelines and breaking the law’’ Senator Na’ allah who was equally irked by the development restated the stance of the Senate to the commitment to stamp out the abuse of power.
His words ‘‘ I deliberately brought this so that the Senate can understand our predicament, the only approach this Senate can take to assist this government in fighting corruption, is to insist that gross abuse of power and misuse of power must be stopped by every government agency’’.
‘‘The only way we can build our institutions is to radically address the issue of abuse of power and misuse of power. I think that if you give me permission, I will like to bring it tomorrow as a motion.”
Responding to Na Allah, Saraki stressed the need to put an end to all acts of impunity in Government spending. “Leader, this is a very important issue and we must debate it tomorrow and if there is any Committee in exception or that have received from agencies they oversight, then they will have the opportunity to at least clear the Parastatals and Agencies, that have sent their budgets.
“But if as at middle of May, we are saying we have not received any budget from them, then which money are they spending and with what authority? We need to look into that and take a decision that may be they can only pay salaries until they bring their budgets here and approvals given.
“I think once and for all, we need to address this issue and put an end to this disregard for laws and areas of corrupt practices,” the Senate President said.