The Senate President, Godswill Akpabio has warned all heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to keep to the schedules for the defence of their allocations in the 2024 Appropriation Bill or face punitive measures.
The senate president gave the warning while declaring open a one-day retreat on the 2024 budget organised by the Senate Committee on Appropriation in Abuja yesterday.
Praising the Senate panel for the initiative, the Senate President said the retreat was meant to open up the 2024 budget process for stakeholders’ engagement and feedback.
He warned that the senate would not tolerate lackadaisical attitude from government functionaries in all MDAs.
He stated that those who fail to keep to the schedules may face consequences in the eventual passage of the 2024 Appropriation Bill.
He said: “There is no doubt that various stakeholders would want their opinions heard by those in power. Indeed, this is a key element in democracy, especially when it concerns a vital issue like the national budget of a nation dealing with the allocation of national resources.
“The proper use of the national budget is critical to the economic development of any country, and it is even more so for a nation like ours, where our economy needs urgent stimulation to address myriad of challenges…
“However, let me state clearly that the National Assembly will not tolerate lackadaisical attitude from government functionaries in all MDAs in relation to issues surrounding their defence of submissions and our resolve to maintain the January-December budget cycle.
“The consequences may not be palatable for the official or the agency in the eventual passage of the 2024 Appropriation Bill.”