The Senate Tuesday also passed the N152 billion 2017 budget of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

Approving the report of its Committee on Finance, the Senate approved N75.8 billion as personnel cost, representing 49.58 per cent of the total FIRS budget, N46 billion for overheads, representing 30.09 per cent, and N31 billion for capex, representing 20.33 per cent.

The personnel budget of the agency increased from N51.8 billion in 2016, to N75.8 billion.

“This is due to the planned recruitment of 700 additional staff in 2017 and a salary review by 30 per cent as approved by the Salary, Wages and Income Commission,” the report read.

The FIRS projected a revenue of N4.9 trillion in its 2017 budget.
The lawmakers also approved the N270.5 billion budget of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) which has a projected revenue of N278.5 billion in the same year.

This was in addition to the approval of a N161.9 billion budget for the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), with a projected revenue of N161.9 billion.

Presiding, Saraki said it was necessary for the revenue-generating agencies to live up to their mandates.
This, he said, would reduce the need for borrowing by the federal government, adding that the Senate would do its part to ensure the agencies live up to expectations.

Continuing, Saraki wondered how some of the agencies such as NIMASA and NPA were proposing to spend almost all or in some cases all of their projected revenue.

Similarly, the Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has an approved budget of N2.550 billion and same figure as projected revenue, while the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) has an approved budget of N2.773 billion and projected revenue of N2.820 billion.

Saraki accused the agencies of deliberately bloating their budget proposals to match projected revenue.
“Now we have a letter from the president asking for approval of external loans, but if these revenue agencies were prudent, we may not be borrowing this much.

“Nigeria needs money now, and I think that we need to be very prudent to ensure that as much as possible. All these agencies are supposed to be putting something back in the Federation Account,” Saraki said.

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