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With the situation of things, the leadership of Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) is now wearing strong thinking cap in other to provide credible defence for the expenditure of 2016 budget before the National Assembly can go ahead in the approval of the 2017 budget.
The development stemmed from the high level dissatisfaction expressed by National Assembly over the 2016 budget performance.
Explaining more on the twist for NSC House Committee Chairman on Port, Harbour and Waterways, Dr. Patrick Asadu who visited the council in Lagos made it clear that the constitution empowered the committee to not only appropriate funds to government agencies but also to follow them up to ascertain how the money is spent.
He said “We are here on a routine visit because the constitution says we don’t just appropriate funds to government agencies, but to also follow how the money is used, and to make sure that what we appropriated applied”.
Dr. Asadu disclosed that most of the government agencies performed badly adding that almost all government agencies did not go beyond 60 per cent of their budgets because of paucity of funds.
“We have made our observations. It is an ongoing process; they will come back to the National Assembly to defend the budget. In general, there are still some areas to look at.
While lauding the initiative of the Council on providing Inland Container Depots (ICDs) across the country to facilitate easy delivery of goods to different parts of the country, Asadu urged Shippers’ Council to find means to leverage on its revenue generation as a key agency in the maritime industry.
However, industry observers say the performance of NSC’s 2016 budget may have been good considering the speed the agency is suing to deliver Inland Dry Ports across the federation and ongoing single window portal which has started yielding resulting in delivering ease of doing business at the ports.