By Seyi Babalola
Senate President Godswill Akpabio has asked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to remove any head of a government agency who fails to honor National Assembly committee’s invitations.
Akpabio declared this at the start of a Senate public hearing on the 2024–2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) on Thursday.
The public hearing was organised by the Senate Joint Committees on Finance; Appropriations; National Planning and Economic Affairs; and Local and Foreign Debt to dissect the fiscal document with the chief executives of government-owned agencies to increase the national revenue base.
He said any invited head of the agency who failed to appear to discuss the economic blueprint of the federal government was not fit to run such an agency and should be sacked.
The Senate President said, “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.
“Chairman 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. Therefore, I am happy to see the chairman of FIRS, he is here. I have also seen the DG NIMASA and others.
“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 to appear in Owerri today for our final rally of my party and all other schedules that I have, to make sure that I appear so that we can strategize on how we can succeed.”
The approved MTEF/FSP will set out the parameters upon which the next year’s budget will be prepared.
In the MTEF/FSP, the federal government pegged the price of crude oil at $73.96, the exchange rate at N700/$, oil production at 1.78 million barrels per day, debt service of N8.25 trillion, inflation at 21 percent, and GDP growth at 3.76 percent.
The aggregate expenditure is estimated at N26.01 trillion for the 2024 budget, which includes statutory transfers of N1.3 trillion, non-debt recurrent expenditure of N10.26 trillion, debt service estimated at N8.25 trillion, as well as N7.78 trillion being provided for personnel and pension costs.