How N578bn projects were inserted into budget.
Facts have emerged how the National Assembly altered the 2018 budget with a total of 6,403 projects valued at N578.31bn.
An analysis of the budget document from the Budget Office of the Federation showed that 30 ministries, departments and agencies of government were affected by the insertion of capital projects into their budget.
The 2018 budget, which was designed to consolidate on the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, was presented to the National Assembly on November 7, 2017.
It was passed by the lawmakers on May 16, transmitted to President Muhammadu Buhari on May 25.
The fiscal document signed by Buhari on June 20 had a total spending of N9.1tn made up of N2.87tn for capital expenditure, N3.51tn for recurrent (non-debt) expenditure and N2.01tn projected for debt servicing.
Buhari had while signing the budget two weeks ago lamented the way the lawmakers tinkered with the details.
Buhari said, “The logic behind the constitutional direction that budgets should be proposed by the Executive is that it is the Executive that knows and defines its policies and projects. Unfortunately, that has not been given much regard in what has been sent to me.”
According to the document obtained from the Budget Office by our correspondent, the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing had the highest number of projects inserted into its budget with 996 projects valued at N121.88bn.
This is followed by Ministry of Water Resources with 1,151 projects worth N61.85bn while Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and Ministry of Education had 459 projects and 467 projects valued at N52.79bn and N48.8bn, respectively.
In the same vein, nine projects worth N42.2bn were inserted into the budget of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning. Ministry of Communication Technology had 78 projects insertion worth N3.9bn, while ministries of Defence and Environment has 19 projects and 147 projects valued at N12.5bn and N9.5bn, respectively.
For the Federal Capital Territory Administration, six projects worth N7.2bn were inserted into its budget; Foreign Affairs had 57 projects worth N8.29bn; Health had 885 projects worth N38.47bn; Information had 178 projects worth N8.9bn; Interior had 78 projects valued at N8bn; and Ministry of Labour and Employment had 226 projects, estimated at N13.02bn.
Other affected minstries are Mines and Steel with 34 projects worth N2.2bn; Niger Delta, 102 projects worth N5.72bn; Office of National Security Adviser had two projects worth N5.35bn, while the Office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation had 448 projects valued at N35.12bn.
The rest are Ministry of Science and Technology with 506 projects valued at N35.64bn; Trade and Investment had 334 projects worth N33.83bn; Ministry of Transportation had 23 projects valued at N10.9bn; Ministry of Women Affairs had 41 projects, estimated at N1.52bn; and Ministry of Youths and Sports had 67 projects worth N2.49bn inserted into its budget.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, last week said that with the way the National Assembly altered the capital component of the 2018 budget, there might be a shift in the completion of some capital projects.
He called for the cooperation of the lawmakers, noting that the Executive would soon approach them with a request for a readjustment of the already signed budget.
“We are determined to ensure that the budget is effectively implemented. We will work closely with the National Assembly where we need adjustment or a supplementary budget. We hope that they will cooperate with us,” he added.