The Senate said it would support the Oronsanya report on streamlining government agencies to boost revenue generation for national development.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman, Senator Solomon Olamilekan, hinted that he was addressing heads of government agencies during the ongoing interactive session on the 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Strategy Paper budget in Abuja.
He said the implementation of the report would contribute to the country’s dire revenue situation.
He said: “There is no way with the current economic situation that we are not implementing the Oronsanya report, it is part of the report that some staff will stay while others will have to leave because the government can no longer continue to fund agencies that are liabilities and the government cannot continue to be Santa Claus.
Senator Olamilekan, however, revealed that any government agency that generates enough revenue for national development would not be affected by the rationalization.
He also revealed that the MDAs risk zero budget allocation in the 2023 budget due to the failure of their chief executives to appear at the interactive session of the Senate to give their opinion on the MTEF-FSP 2023-2025.
“It is the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and we have the right to summon anyone and we can also consider that when you do not show up that means you do not need allowance in the 2023 budget,” Olamilekan said.
Olamilekan also slammed the Group Chief Executive of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited, Mele Kyari, for failing to honor the committee’s invitation to clarify some vital issues regarding crude oil production, fuel subsidy and local fuel consumption among others.
The lawmaker said the NNPC liaison officer asserted that since the agency is now a limited liability company, therefore the Senate has no legal basis to convene the agency.
In his reaction, the chairman of the committee said that the law passed by the National Assembly only allows NNPC to actively participate in the oil industry, adding that the federal government still owns the agency 100% until that there are major investors in the agency.
“We will summon you and invite you at any time, we need your attention, you are a limited liability company according to our law. We are changing your status because we want you to be an active player in the oil industry.
“Call your liaison officer and correct his impression, NNPC is owned by the federal government and you remain accountable to the federal government,” he stressed.
The NNPC GMD was then invited to appear before the committee on Thursday.
In another development, the Senate called for a revitalization of state-owned cocoa, groundnut, rubber and palm oil plantations in the country to further diversify the economy from crude oil.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Olamilekan said the call for diversification away from crude oil into other agricultural commodities has become necessary given the growing decline in the nation’s income profile.
He said there was a new economic order in Nigeria that required MDAs to think of alternatives to improve the country’s income profile.
He said the current focus is on how best to earn more foreign exchange, adding that cocoa, groundnuts and palm oil were the main sources of foreign exchange for Nigeria in the past.
“We have a shortfall in the daily production of crude oil and therefore we must take frantic measures to bring back groundnut, cocoa, rubber and palm oil products to earn more foreign exchange for Nigeria. “.
He said the Senate is committed to ensuring the necessary regulatory bodies are in place to steer commodity production.
He also called for the provision of relevant data on monthly and annual coir production and sales from the National Cocoa Research Institute.
Some of the organizations that made presentations to the program were the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, Voice of Nigeria (VON), and the National Lottery Commission, among others.
The interactive session continues on Thursday.
READ ALSO FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE