The National Assembly has warned the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, and heads of all Federal Government revenue-generating agencies against engaging in unauthorised spending of revenues without the approval of the federal lawmakers as required by law. The chairmen of the Finance Committees of the nation’s parliament, Senator Solomon Adeola (Senate) and James Faleke (House of Representatives), gave the warning on Saturday after a joint meeting held in Lagos.
A statement by the Media Adviser to the Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Chief Kayode Odunaro, on Sunday, explained that Adeola and Faleke warned the minister and other heads of Federal Government’s revenue-generating agencies to desist from such practice or face the wrath of the National Assembly.
Adeola, according to the statement, said the era of unauthorised and illegal diversion of revenues generated by MDAs was over because the 9th National Assembly would ensure that Federal Government gets enough revenue to implement people-oriented policies and programmes.
He said, “It has been observed that year in year out, the Federal Government has not been able to meet its targets on independent revenue sources. Henceforth, such activities will not be tolerated. “Findings indicated that a major culprit in this shortcoming is the inadequacies of the MDAs coupled with their penchant for diversion of revenue on frivolous excuses for expenditure that are mostly recurrent.
“The 9th National Assembly will not tolerate unauthorised expenditure by the Ministry of Finance or agencies of government not backed by law or the relevant Acts of the National Assembly guiding such expenditure.
“Every expenditure must henceforth be in compliance with the Fiscal Responsibility Act and other applicable laws of the land. “Reports show that over the years, the Federal Government has not been able to surpass 30 per cent of its revenue targets. “With this, it is small wonder we always have low level of budget implementation for critical capital projects. “We need to reverse this trend and intends to introduce quarterly review of targets so that needed revenue can come to the federal purse,” he stated.
Adeola added that “the flagrant use of Financial Regulations issued by the Ministry of Finance and MDAs to direct spending will no longer be tolerated as such is at variance with laws enacted by the National Assembly and the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria.”