Senate Rejects FIRS Budget

THE Senate, yesterday, rejected the 2016 budget of Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, forwarded to it by the Executive for approval, citing questionable inclusion of capital projects which it declared had been a yearly ritual of revenue generating agencies of government.

It also warned Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, ahead of presentation and defence of 2017 budget, that the days of partially prepared budget were over, adding that it would no longer be business as usual.

The action of the upper Chamber came four months after President Muhammadu Buhari forwarded the 2016 budget of FIRS.

It would be recalled that President Buhari forwarded the budget to the Senate on July 21, and was, thereafter, referred to the Finance Committee, led by Senator John Enoh, PDP, Cross River Central, for further legislative action on July 25, 2016.

Senate said it refused to pass the N146.16 billion budget of FIRS because of the shady exercise of the Committee on Finance.

Presenting the report, Enoh said that the committee recommended that a total expenditure of N143.722 billion be approved for FIRS in 2016. But the Senate rejected the report of the committee due to the poor preparation of the document.

The Senate believes the report submitted for consideration yesterday supported the committee’s position that more oversight of the budget was necessary and that supporting budget justification information was sorely needed.

Some senators were concerned that the FIRS budget submission was poorly compiled and, therefore, incomplete. Already the Senate has rejected the request for $30 billion international loan by executive arm of government due to lack of supporting documentation and details of where the expenditures would be allocated.