House of Reps tackles MDAs, seeks reduction in N5.62tn deficit borrowing.

Written by on August 20, 2021

The House of Representatives’ Committee on Finance has condemned Nigeria’s plan to borrow to finance N5.62tn deficit in the 2022 budget, while some ministries, departments and agencies starve the Federal Government of revenue.

The government plans to borrow about N4.89tn from internal and external sources to finance the deficit in its proposed 2022 budget of N13.98tn due to dwindling revenue.

The committee especially criticised the MDAs for concealing their revenues, thereby denying the government the ability to fund its budget.

The Chairman of the committee, James Faleke, expressed the concern in Abuja on Thursday at the ongoing public hearing on the 2022-2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.

He stressed that if the House discovered that any of the MDAs’ capital projects were unnecessary, they would be removed to save some resources for the country.

Some of the agencies that appeared before the committee were the Nigerian Port Authority, the Nigerian Communications Commission, the Nigerian Copyright Commission, and the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission.

Meanwhile, the committee queried the plans by the management of the NPA to spend N302.61bn on dredging.

According to a written presentation to the committee, the NPA plans to spend about N5.47bn on the purchase of vehicles between 2022 and 2024, and another N6.62bn and N5.515bn on ICT hardware and software respectively.

In the document, NPA also said it planned to spend N1.15bn on office building between 2022 and 2024; N2.69bn on acquiring land and N830m and N335m on fire engines and generators respectively.

Meanwhile, the Director-General of NiMet, Mansur Matazu, told the lawmakers that the agency had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a United States-based firm, Earth Networks, to boost its revenue base.

Credit: Punch

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