The Senate has threatened to cut 2023 budgetary allocations of about 100 agencies that shunned investigative  panel of the upper chamber probing  unaccounted funds drawn from the Service Wide Vote.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan issued the threat after Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Matthew Urhoghide (PDP, Edo) raised a point of order during plenary that the agencies refused to appear before his panel.
The Committee, he added, is currently investigating amount totalling about N1.9 trillion drawn from the Service Wide Vote by the agencies between 2017 and 2021.

He lamented that the agencies which had refused to appear before his committee, had staggering amounts of money standing against them.

The chairman said monies obtained from the Service Wide Vote are not known to Senate standing committees and are not subjected to investigation by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation.

The lawmaker said sections 88 and 89 of the constitution empower the parliament to summon federal government agencies to account for public funds they had spent.

He, however, lamented that the agencies had vehemently refused to appear before his committee, saying the amounts that is against their names are staggering.

He, therefore, urged the Senate President to issue warrant of arrest to compel the agencies to appear before the Public Accounts Committee.

Responding, Senate President gave the affected agencies one week ultimatum to appear before the committee or risk zero allocation in the 2023 budget.

Lawan said, “Reading this list at plenary, it gives the agencies the opportunity to now know, if they were not aware before for those that may claim ignorance.

“I am taking the opportunity to advise that, in the next one week, the agencies mentioned here should appear before the committee. If there is no communication whatsoever and no cogent and verifiable reasons are given, we will slash the budget of the agencies.”

Some of the agencies are: Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Ministries of Interior, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Transportation, Health, Works and Housing, Information and Culture, Mines and Steal Development, Police Affairs, Defence, Youths and Sports, Petroleum and Aviation.

Others are: State House, Budget Office, Presidential Flee, Nigerian Army, Navy, Airforce, NAFDAC, Civil Defence, Presidential Amnesty Programme, FERMA, NEMA, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Debt Management Office, INEC, North East Development Commission (NEDC), Nigerian Intelligence Agency (NIA), National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Dept Management Office, National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA), National Examination Council (NECO), among others.

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