Senate reschedules defence as NIWA seeks exit from national budget

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The Senate Committee on Marine Transport has rescheduled the 2022 budget defence of the National Inland Waterways Agency due to insufficient information and inconsistency in documents submitted to the Committee.

The Managing Director of NIWA, Dr. George Moghalu had appeared before the National Committee on Marine Transport and House of Representatives on Ports, Harbours/ Inland Waterways chaired by Senator Danjuma Goje.

NIWA MD expressed optimism that the agency would be self-independent in terms of funding, while he urged the lawmakers to pass the bill into law as soon as possible.

He said: “The agency is determined to become fully self-funding by 2023 upon the passage of NIWA bill and I urge lawmakers to pass the bill currently before it into law.

“We are determined more than ever to become fully self-funding by 2023 which is predicated upon the passage of the NIWA bill, in so doing upscaling development of Inland Water Transportation in Nigeria.”

The Managing Director, however, told lawmakers that the autonomy of NIWA will not take the power of oversight from the lawmakers, adding that the aim of the autonomy is not to burden the national budget.

In the breakdown presented by NIWA Managing Director for the 2022 budget proposal, N12.8 billion is a subvention for the Capital budget from the federal government, the total IGR budget proposal is N21.2 billion made up of a recurrent estimate of N10.8 billion.

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Trouble started for the Managing Director of NIWA as many Senators and Honorable members complained of the clumsiness of the report presented for consideration.

Senator Smart Adeyemi specifically told the NIWA Managing Director that the report is not presented in a way that could be easily understood.

Senator Danladi Sankara from Jigawa said that the agency failed to include receipt of remittance in their report, though Senator Jibril Isa who is the Vice Chairman of Senate Committee on Finance, informed the Committee that NIWA submitted the remittance receipt to the government’s purse through Finance Committee.

Some lawmakers also complained that the report was not arranged properly.

Having listened to the members of the Committee both in the Senate and House of Representatives, the Chairman, Senator Danjuma Goje called for the postponement of the budget defence over the issue raised by members.

According to him, in view of various inconsistencies in the budget, you have to reappear before the Committee at another date which will be communicated to you.

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