By Musa Baba Adamu
Senate has given a one-week ultimatum to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of Government yet to appear before relevant Committees to defend their budget proposal for 2022, to do so or risk zero allocation in the coming year.
The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan gave the ultimatum in an announcement moments before the upper chamber adjourned plenary on Tuesday.
According to him, the one-week extension would allow relevant Committees to conclude work on the budget estimates of MDAs for scheduled presentation to the Committee on Appropriations.
He said: “A one week deadline is hereby given for all MDAs to defend their budget.
“[And] if there are any MDAs not able to do so, they should forget about it because from this week, our Committees would start defending or presenting their budget defense results with the Committee on Appropriations.
“So, we give more time to our Committees, so that they are able to engage with the MDAs.
“When we close at 1pm today, we expect that the Committees will go and continue with those issues that have not been sorted out.
“[And] let me also say this very clearly, that there are many MDAs that are being awaited by our Committees to present some very vital documents, and this is very necessary for us to conclude work on the budget defense exercise.
“This week, we will close at 1pm, and Thursday would be for our Committees to work throughout till Friday and possibly Saturday, so that by next week, by the Grace of God, the budget defense would be closed, because that would be the only window.”