Paschal Emeka, Abuja / posted November 2, 2022
The House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs has resolved that it will not subject the 2023 Budget of Ministry of Foreign Affairs to legislative scrutiny and consideration over alleged flouting of some parts of the Appropriation Act by the Ministry.
Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Yusuf Buba stated this on Wednesday when the Ministry of Foreign Affairs appeared before the Committee for its 2023 Budget Defense.
According to him, “on the 18th of January, I wrote a letter to the Minister informing him that we are in the know that Embassies can now form tenders board to spend their capital component of the budget and in the 20th of the same month the ministry sent a telex telling the Embassies not to comply with this directives.
“On the 19 we sent another letter to the missions directly since the Ministry has asked them not to comply with the National Assembly directive to obey the law of the land, the Ministry sent another letter on the 16th of June signed by Ambassador Janet that they should not adhere to those laws.
“It was at that point Mr. Speaker invited you and your team and then we showed you these communications which you said these letters did not get to you but your Perm Sec sent the first letter a day after Ambassador Janet sent the second letter specifically directing the Embassies not to obey section 10 of the Appropriation Act and then recently on the 6th of September 2022 I also sent a letter to the office of the Minister reminding you that the Ammended Appropriation Act has been accented to by Mr President making it a law of the land, asking you to inform the Embassies to start implementing the law.
“The committee went on oversight, non of the Embassies we visited received the telegraph to implement that.
“On the 23rd of September, I sent another letter reminding you of section 7 of the Appropriation Act but yet the Embassies were not communicated.
“Hon. Minister your staff have been writing telex even though you are not aware, it is expected that you are aware.
“Messages have been sent to Embassies to disregard and disrecpect the laws of federal republic of Nigeria so that is why we will not take your budget presentation of 2023 until these infractions are adhered to.
“That we will not consider the present 2023 appropriation proposal of the Ministry until it does the following :
“Direct all Missions to abide by Section 10 of the 2022 Appropriation Act (as amended).
“Furnish the National Assembly with the 2023 Budget Proposals in respect to targeted revenues from administrative charges at the Missions and Embassies
“Furnish the Committee with the list of unspent funds under the capital component of the Missions’ allocations for the necessary waivers of the National Assembly