The Senate has called on President Bola Tinubu to sack any head of ministry, department, or agency who fails to physically attend ongoing interactive sessions on the 2024–2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.
The Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, made the call on the President while reading his opening speech at the formal opening of the interactive session jointly organised by its committees on Finance, Appropriations, National Planning, and Local and Foreign Debts.
According to reports, the MTEF/FSP interactive sessions are one of the financial events in the parliament that precede the presentation of the budget by the President to the National Assembly.
Akpabio said, “If you don’t plan how to succeed, then you have planned to fail. I, therefore, remind our committee that any serious appointee or any head of any agency that is interested in the success of President Bola Tinubu’s administration ought to be here.
“The chairman of the lead committee (Finance) should give me the list of all the heads of agencies that you invited who have failed to show up in this session. This is the beginning of their failure in their various offices.
“Any head of agency that sends representation here is not a serious person and, therefore, the President must take a second look at such a person’s appointment.
“It is not a threat but the truth. I shelved even my appointment in Owerri today for the final rally of my party and all other schedules that I have to make sure that I appear here so that we can strategise on how we can succeed.”
The Senate President also noted that borrowings for Nigeria could not be totally avoided but the current trend could not be sustained.
He said it was for this reason that the MTEF/FSP interactive session was important, in order to map out strategies for more revenue generation for the government.
According to Akpabio, the 2024-2026 MTEF/FSP is being considered at a time when events on the global scene are putting massive negative financial and socio-economic pressure on Nigeria.
“Internationally, the intractable Russian-Ukraine war and the sudden Israeli-Palestine war are having international economic repercussions that have consequences for our economic outlook. In addition, we are in the throes of the immediate effects of needed reform in our foreign exchange system and the equally needed removal of subsidies on petroleum products. Coupled with the security challenges confronting the nation, there is no doubt that we must be painstaking and bold in economic projections and policies to stimulate employment and economic growth.
“While we acknowledge that the majority of our people are going through very difficult times in their daily lives at present, we are very hopeful that in the medium term and the long run, the Nigerian economy is bound to rebound for relief to the majority of our people,” he pointed out.
The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Sani Musa ( APC Niger East), however, adjourned the interactive session till Monday next week, giving the invited agencies more time to forward the required documents requested from them to the committee.