Due to low revenues in the country, the Nigerian Senate has unveiled its plan to eliminate 400 federal ministries out of 541 2023 on recommendation of the Presidential Committee on Agency Rationalization.
Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Olamilekan Adeola, made the announcement at a two-day interactive session with members of the Senate Treasury Committee and heads of departments, departments and agencies (MDAs).
Nigeria is reported to have one of the lowest revenue-to-GDP ratios in Africa and also one of the lowest in the world.
Senator Olamilekan revealed this in response to a presentation by Dr. Rufus Ebegba, Director General of the National Biosafety Management Agency, on low revenue.
dr Rufus revealed how his agency generated N2 million versus the N5 million generated annually. He further announced that of the N2.5 billion allocated to the capital budget this year, only N1.3 billion has been released.
In response, the senator said the committee recommended keeping 106 MDAs and that one of the fundamental factors in keeping them is revenue generation.
Dissatisfied with the disclosure made, the senator stated that it was inappropriate for an agency to commit N5 million annually while issuing N500 million in debt capital projects.
Speaking further, he said: “The implementation of the Orosanye Panel cannot be stopped due to the country’s economic situation.
“The government needs revenue for effective budget implementation, particularly in the area of project execution, and can no longer afford to pour money into MDAs without corresponding annual returns.
“We in the Senate support the implementation of the panel report led by Orosanye to save the economy from self-inflicted bleeding.”
Sokoto Rima River Basin Development Authority executive director Engineer Buhari Bature Mohammed also revealed to the committee how his agency generated just N7 billion in 2022.
After his presentation, the committee agreed that the recommendation of the Presidential Committee on rationalizing agencies should be applied to agencies with low annual revenues.
Senator Adeola further announced that in 2023 there will be no budget allocation for any agency whose accounting officer refuses to account for the ongoing interface to generate revenue.