2017 BUDGET: Pressured by Senate’s summon, Adeosun swiftly reacts, gives breakdown of capital funding
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2017 BUDGET: Pressured by Senate’s summon, Adeosun swiftly reacts, gives breakdown of capital funding

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Nigerian govt says it has saved N125bn from travels, souvenirs, others in 2 years.

Following a resolution by Nigeria’s Senate summoning the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, and her colleague, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udoma, over inadequate release of funds for capital expenditure approved in the 2017 budget, Adeosun Tuesday released a statement providing some information on capital expenditure funding for the first quarter.

The Senate had based on a motion sponsored by Gbenga Ashafa, lamented inadequate release of funds for the capital components of the 2017 budget, subsequently summoning the ministers to provide reasons for what they deemed unsatisfactory performance.

But in a statement signed by the finance ministry’s spokesperson, Patricia Deworitshe, Adeosun said the “Federal Government was able to fully cash-back the budgeted capital releases so far made, which is a reflection of the current administration’s commitment to economic development”.

She stated that overall, the Buhari administration had disbursed N336 billion in the first quarter of 2017 for capital projects, adding that only N14 billion remained from the total budget for capital projects for the first quarter, a balance that will be released upon “resolution of some formalities within the agencies concerned.”

The ministry’s statement comes same day as the Senate’s summon.

Read also: Senate resumes, summons Adeosun, Udoma over 2017 budget implementation

Breakdown of the release showed that the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing received the largest allocation of N90 billion.

This was followed by defence and security which got N71 billion, while Ministry of Transport got N30 billion.

Others include the Ministry of Agriculture which received N30 billion, and Water Resources which got N12 billion.

All other sectors combined received a total sum of N103 billion, the statement revealed.

Adeosun stated that releases were made in accordance with the objectives of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), noting that the federal government would continue to focus on capital expenditure spending on priority sectors to boost economic activities and job creation.

“Despite fiscal constraints, the Federal Government was able to fully cash-back the budgeted capital releases so far made, which is a reflection of the current administration’s commitment to economic development”, the Minister said.

Recall that the 2017 was present by President Buhari in December of 2016 and was only passed by the National Assembly in May 2017, five months after. The budget was signed into law in June 2017, making this the third month since its coming on stream.

The budget has a total amount of N7.4 trillion (N7, 441, 175, 486, 758), with N2.2 trillion (2, 177, 866, 775, 864) approved for capital projects.

In its first plenary since embarking on a two-month long recess on Tuesday, the senate had observed that the about N310 billion so far released for capital projects by the federal government since the budget was assented to “is far too low to stimulate the economy to address our present economic challenges”.

Worried that the failure to release funds could plunge the country back into recession, the senate requested that the two ministers “appear before plenary immediately to brief the senate on the cause of the inadequate releases and steps being taken to expedite release of funds for capital components of the 2017 appropriation act”.

 

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