OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives has expressed displeasure over failure of some Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the federal government to appear for budget defence sessions of parliament.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC), and the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) were specifically singled out for serial default to honour budget defence hearings.

The House lamented how the refusal of these MDAs to defend their budgets in the last two years has adversely affected the exercise of its constitutional duty of oversight.

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These issues came to the fore via a motion debated in plenary on Wednesday. Sponsor of the motion, Mr, Fatau Mohammed (APC, Katsina), told the House that “none of the above mentioned agencies have been oversighted by this Committee in line with Order 20, rule 18 subsection 2 in the past two years and to cap it all they have failed to make their budget available to the Committee.

In his contribution to the motion, the Deputy Minority Leader, Toby Okechukwu (PDP, Enugu) said it was a breach of law to shirk budget defence sessions, stressing the agencies must appear before the House.

”This is a breach of law of which this House should make a finding and place it properly the culpability of these agencies,’’ he said.

Ruling on the matter, the presiding officer, deputy speaker Idris Wase, expressed surprise, saying that the leadership of the House was not aware that such was happening as he also blamed the Committee for keeping quiet all along.

“The House would engage the committee to resolve the matter,” he said, adding: “It’s not only the agencies that should be blamed I think you (motion sponsor) should be blamed as well for not letting the leadership of the House know about this all this while. Even me I’m just hearing this for the first time”.

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