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Sen Akpabio Reiterates Senate’s Commitment To Carryout Oversight On Govt Agencies

... Frowns At Absence Of Heads Of Agencies At Budget Sessions

President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, has reiterated the commitment of the Senate to carry out its legislative functions of oversighting government agencies, just as he frowned at the deliberate absence of heads of MDAs and other agencies at interactive sessions on MTEF and FSP.

Akpabio also called on President Bola Tinubu to discipline any heads of ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) who refused to physically attend the ongoing interactive sessions on projections made in the 2024–2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).

Senator Akpabio in a session with heads of MDAs, MTEF, FSP

Speaking at the formal opening of the interactive session jointly organised by its committees on Finance Appropriations, National Planning, and Local and Foreign Debts on Thursday, Akpabio said any head of agency who refuses to attend the session should be reprimanded by President Tinubu.

A statement by Special Assistant on Media to the Senate President, Jackson Udom, quoted him as saying, “If you don’t plan how to succeed, then you have planned to fail. I therefore remind our committee that any serious appointee or any head of any agency that is interested in the success of President Bola Tinubu’s administration ought to be here.”

“The Chairman of the lead committee (Finance) should give me the list of all the heads of agencies that you invited who have failed to show up in this session, this is the beginning of their failure in their various offices. Any head of agency that sends representation here is not a serious person and therefore, the President must take a second look at such a person’s appointment.

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“It is not a threat but the truth. I shelved even my appointment to appear in Owerri today for the final rally of my party and all other schedules that I have to make sure that I appear so that we can strategise on how we can succeed”.

Akpabio and MDAs

He stated further that, “borrowings for Nigeria cannot be avoided but the current trend cannot be sustained, the very reason why at this session, strategies must be mapped out by the committees and relevant agencies on more revenue generation for government.

According to him, “the 2024-2026 MTEF/FSP is being considered at a time that events at the global scene and locally, are putting massive negative financial and socio-economic pressure on Nigeria from most development indices.

“Internationally, the intractable Russian-Ukraine war and the sudden Israeli-Palestine war are having international economic repercussions that have consequences for our economic outlook. In addition, we are in the throes of the immediate effects of needed reform in our foreign exchange system and the equally needed removal of subsidies on petroleum products.

“Couple with the security challenges confronting the nation, there is no doubt that we must be painstaking and bold in economic projections and policies to stimulate employment and economic growth.

“While we acknowledge that the majority of our people are going through very difficult times in their daily lives at present, we are very hopeful that in the medium term and the long run, the Nigerian economy is bound to rebound for relief to the majority of our people in pursuant of this goal”, he added.

The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Sani Musa (APC Niger East), however, adjourned the interactive session to Monday next week, in order to give the invited agencies, more time to forward the required documents requested from them, to the committee.

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