The House of Representatives has threatened a zero budget for the National Sovereign Investment Authority in the 2022 fiscal year.
This was a result of the agency’s consistent refusal to present its annual budget proposal to lawmakers for scrutiny in line with the country’s constitution.
The Chairman House Committee on Finance, Mr. James Faleke who handed down the threat at the budget defence of the committee where the Accountant General of the Federation, Fiscal Responsibility Commission, and the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Company appeared.
Mr. Faleke said the constitution is clear that the budget proposal of all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies must be approved by the parliament contrary to which violate a section of the constitution.
“The agency was relying on its extant law that its annual budget shall be approved by its board; this is against the constitution,” Faleke insisted.
Defending the Accountant General Office budget for 2022, the Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris said N9.088 billion would be spent in paying workers’ salaries, procuring three vehicles and refurbishing its headquarters and its pay offices in the 36 states of the federation.
Mr. Idris said the new budget figure is almost a ten percent increase from the N3.711 billion approved by the House for the 2021 budget of the Office as the agency now has the new responsibility of paying Foreign Service workers salaries.
He further said that a circular that shifted the responsibility of payment of the salaries, gratuities, and estacodes of the Foreign Service officers emanated from the office of the President saying that the N10.470 budget of the agency is for overhead, personnel cost, and capital expenditure of the fiscal year.
“N4.341 billion is for personnel emoluments, N4.747 billion is for Foreign Service and N629.6 million is for overhead cost.
N28 million is meant for the refurbishment of offices, N30 million is for cleaning and fumigation of dilapidated state offices while N752.831 million is for overhead cost and N42 million for purchase of three operational vehicles,” Idris added.