The Federal Government gave a breakdown of its 2019 budget in Abuja, yesterday, with Ministry of Power, Works and Housing allocated the highest capital vote of N394.91 billion out of an entire capital vote of N2.09 trillion to Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs
It was followed by Ministries of Transportation and Defence with N159.13 billion and 107.22 billion respectively.
In a specific order, Water Resources got N92.18 billion; Industry, Trade and Investment, N63.11 billion; Education N58.69 billion; Health N57.09 billion; Interior N53.68 billion; Science and Technology N48.10 billion; while Niger Delta Affairs got N35.24 billion.
On Recurrent Expenditure, Ministry of Interior got the most astounding distribution of N564.22 billion; trailed by Education with N463. 40 billion; Defense N430.83 billion; Health N315. 72 billion; Youths and Sports N 122.67 billion; while the Office of the National Security Adviser got N86.84 billion.
The other ministries captured under this category were: Petroleum Resources N67. 85 billion; Foreign Affairs N66.11 billion; Agriculture & Rural Development N57. 68 billion; Information and Culture N44.60 billion; while Science &Technology got N35.02 billion.
Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation was allocated N101 .04 billion, made of up N 63.40 billion for recurrent expenditure and N37.64 billion for capital expenditure.
Buhari to meet 9th NASS over budget size, funds
Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, who displayed subtleties of the financial limit to the media and common society associations, said the president would connect with the administration of the 9thAssembly over the expansion in the spending size from N8.83 trillion proposed by the official to the N8.92 trillion, which was passed by the governing body and signed into law by the president.
Udoma stated: “Official income presumptions were commonly endorsed and embraced by NASS, with the exception of unexplained increments totaling N31.5 billion on some non-oil revenue lines.
“NASS expanded the spending size from N8.83 trillion to N8.92 trillion, meaning an expansion of N90.33 billion
“This has brought about a general increment of N58.83 billion in deficiency. Mysteriously, NASS decreased the proposed obtaining from N1.649 trillion to N1.605 trillion, subsequently making an in general unfunded shortage of N102.83 billion. To completely finance the financial limit, the dimension of acquiring may along these lines need to increment.
“Allocations for some executive projects dependent on basic examination and connected to the ERGP were decreased and an enormous number of new projects, mainly constituency type projects, was introduced.
“Mr. President plans to draw in the initiative of the ninth National Assembly, when it develops, to impact any alterations important to guarantee he delivers on his electoral promises.
Oil assets to be sold
The minister disclosed that some oil assets of the federation would be sold and the proceeds used for the provision of critical infrastructure projects.
He was, however, silent on which particular assets would be taken to the market for private sector acquisition.
He said: “We have, again, reflected projected proceeds from oil assets ownership restructuring as revenues for transparency and monitoring. Expected funds have been earmarked to fund critical capital projects as this was not achieved in 2018.”
The minister said budget deficit of N1.92 trillion would be financed mainly by borrowing of N1.605 trillion, split equally between domestic and foreign borrowing.
On the minimum wage, the minister said the Presidential Technical Advisory Committee, PTAC, which was set up to advise on ways to ensure that the new minimum wage, and attendant wage adjustments for those already over the minimum wage, can be funded without increasing the level of borrowing to implement these wage adjustments, in such a manner as to minimize their inflationary impact, has submitted its report.
Reacting to an inquiry on the poor usage of Social Investment Programs, the minister stated: “A great deal of time has been taken to structure the program well and ensure check and balanced governance is set up with the goal that it gets to the genuine recipients. It is significant that government assets are wisely and carefully managed.”
Late submission of budget
On the most proficient method to improve the spending circle, he stated: “We have to draw in the National Assembly at two dimensions, prior and then afterward. At the point when the monetary allowance is passed around May or June, the execution of that spending requires significant investment in view of obtainment.
‘’If we want to realise the full budget circle in terms of implementation, we have to present it by September. But if you do not have the information with which you prepare a budget, you cannot present it. Budget is meant to be realistic, based on information.
“On our side, we are trying to make sure there is fiscal discipline. The president intends to ensure there is discipline so that every member on the executive side is saying the same thing. If there is any issue, I am not personally aware, you can be sure that there is going to be discipline on the executive side,” he said in response to how transparent the administration has been.
On job creation, the minister stated: “It is a worry however we have been handling it from various fronts. One is to acquire activities in the areas that make job construction like rail projects, housing projects and so forth. In this way, accentuation will be on development. A ton of cash is as of now being sent to farming.”