Osinbajo Signs Executive Order to Aid Budget Submission by Agencies
In a swift response to the ultimatum given by the Senate asking the presidency to submit the budgets of revenue generating agencies within the next two weeks, acting President Yemi Osinbajo Thursday signed three executive orders aimed at revolutionising government operations.
The three orders, according to a statement by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, were intended to guarantee the timely submission of budgets by the respective federal government agencies, promote transparency and ease of doing business, and boost local content in public procurement.
The statement added that the acting president signed the orders after an interactive session with ministers, permanent secretaries and heads of government agencies in the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The executive orders also stipulated the sanctions and punitive measures meant to address violations, where necessary, Akande said in the statement.
“Ahead of the signing, the acting president held an interactive session at the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa with all the relevant government officials, including ministers, permanent secretaries and heads of departments and agencies, among others.
“The session was meant to directly engage government officials who would be implementing the orders and the new instructions,” he added.
He said that Osinbajo signed three executive orders giving specific instructions on a number of policy issues affecting:
• The promotion of transparency and efficiency in the business environment designed to facilitate the ease of doing business in the country;
• Timely submission of annual budgetary estimates by all statutory and non-statutory agencies, including companies owned by the federal government; and
• Support for local content in public procurement by the federal government.
Akande noted that the executive orders will significantly change some of the ways government business and operations are conducted in the country forthwith.
The Senate on Wednesday had given the executive a two-week ultimatum to submit the 2017 budget proposals of at least 36 agencies of the federal government for consideration and passage by the National Assembly, in line with the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA).
It also barred the agencies, which are revenue generating, from further capital and non-essential expenditure, pending the submission and approval of their budgets.
Some of the affected agencies include the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and Nigerian Customs Service (NCS).
The ultimatum was issued to the presidency because the heads of several of the agencies are autonomous and do not report to any ministers.
Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja