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Senate passes NBC, NTA, FRCN, NAN 2017 appropriation bills

Finally on Thursday, the Senate passed the 2017 budget of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), and the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).

The passage followed the presentation of the report of the 2017 Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) Budget and Expenditure of government-owned information agencies during plenary.

Chairman Senate Committee on Information and National Orientation, Sen. Suleiman Adokwe who presented the report, said that NAN’s projection was N132, 550, 000.00 while projected expenditure was N132, 550, 000.01.

The report on the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) was also approved and passed at plenary.

He said the agency’s IGR performance for 2016 was 97.54 per cent, adding, “The agency did not remit 25 per cent Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) in the year 2016 due to inadequate overhead releases.

While stressing that “The amount meant to be remitted was used for the running of the organization,” Adokwe noted that the actual IGR budget for 2016 was N129, 298, 342.89 while the expenditure was N129, 298, 342.72..

The Senate passed that of NTA which was worth N4,094,179,773.00, NBC, N2,090,009,787.62 while that of FRCN was N2,014,345,624.96.

In his contribution during the passage, Sen. Jibrin Barau, APC, Kano North decried why some the agencies were not able to make the appropriate remittances to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), adding, If these agencies are able to make those remittances, there would be more monies to fund budgets.”

Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, PDP, Abia North said that the agencies were income generating agencies and as such it was expected that they assisted in remitting to the CRF, adding, “We must ensure we enforce these agencies to pay at least the 20 per cent remittance, even if they cannot, at the end of the year we should see at least a remittance of 10 per cent into the CRF.”

However, the chairman said that the IGR performances of the agencies “was far below expectation. If you look at NTA, there are a lot of government agencies that are owing NTA; but they can better than that.”

Adokwe said that as government corporations having fundamental duties, they must ensure they did not go off air, adding, “NTA has the capacity to generate over N10 million per annum, unfortunately, they are weakened by debts.”