Non-implementation of budget: Reps go hard on MDAs, suspend plenary for defence

The House of Representatives has vowed to be had on Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs), which take delivery of their budgetary allocations, but failed to execute the funds for what they were meant.

Minority Leader of the House, Ndudi Elumelu, had during debate on the 2022 budget, noted that it was on good authority that some MDAS were holding on to such funds on the excuse that the releases were not yet 100 percent, and so do not commence implementation.

Reacting to the development during a media briefing, spokesman of the House, Benjamin Kalu, said, “Majority of them will be sent away because you have to justify how you used what was given to you before you can ask for more”, adding that the committee’s will pay attention to where resolutions have been made, but not complied with by the MDAs.

Meanwhile, the House has suspended regular plenary until November 9, 2021 to allow its standing committees engage the MDAs in the 2022 budget defence, as the Bill scaled second reading earlier.

Speaking during debate on the Bill on Thursday, Chairman of the committee on House Services, Hon. Wale Raji, argued that pegging of the exchange rate at N410.15 per US Dollar for the 2022 budget was like an official devaluation of the Naira, the Nigerian Currency.

Raji said the exchange rate is bound to further impoverish Nigerians as the country is an import dependent economy and devaluation of its currency over the years has not benefitted the people in any way. “It has led to high rate of inflation, drastic reduction in the purchasing power of the citizens, increased cost of doing business, corruption and brain drain, particularly among our highly skilled professionals”, he said.

While commending the federal government for the timely presentation of the 2022 budget as it will enable lawmakers to keep to the promise of the passage before the end of the year, he said, “I commend the Federal Government for the giant stride recorded in infrastructural development particularly in Rail transportation sector.”

Several more spoke before members voted unanimously in approval of its second reading.