The Federal Government has so far released the sum of 5.1 trillion Naira out of 6.06 trillion Naira passed by the National Assembly in the 2016 budget.
The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, said this on Wednesday at a meeting organised by the Joint National Assembly Committee on Appropriation in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
Mrs Adeosun told the committee members that despite the shortfall in revenue in 2016, the Federal Government has so far released 870 billion Naira for capital expenditure, excluding the proceeds from the Eurobond.
However, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Danjuma Goje, sought to know if the Ministry of Finance diverted funds from loans to finance personnel expenditure rather than capital expenditure.
He also expressed dissatisfaction with the absence of the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at the stakeholders meeting on implementation of the 2016 budget.
Senator Goje noted that the Acting Director from CBN, Mohammed Yakubu, was not competent to speak before the Joint committee, insisting that the CBN governor must appear before the committee latest Friday morning.
“We have left serious business of processing 2017 budget to ensure the level of implementation of the 2016 budget. It is Nigerians’ right to know the level of implementation.
“The CBN governor could not call us, he only sent an Acting Director in the CBN to appear before the committee,” he said.
Giving details of releases for 2016 budget before the committee, the Accountant-General of the Federation, Hammed Idris, informed the lawmakers that 870 billion Naira was released for capital projects which constituted 55%, while 2.3 trillion Naira was released for personnel cost and 351 billion Naira for statutory transfer.
Mr Idris added that 1.3 trillion Naira was meant for debit servicing, service wide votes for 285 billion Naira while overhead was 138 billion Naira.
He explained that personnel cost and debit service were achieved 100%, overhead cost achieved 85% while capital was achieved 55%.
On his part the Director-General of Budget Office, Ben Akabueze, said there was a shortfall of 1.1 trillion Naira in targeted Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for 2016, explaining that only 398 billion Naira was realised in 2016 IGR out of targeted 1.5 trillion Naira.
He attributed poor capital funding in 2016 to revenue shortfall, stressing that projection oil revenue only accounted for 20% of the total 2016 budget.
Mr Akabueze said “the reason we are unable to implement capital budget fully is as a result of shortfall in the IGR”.
He, however, failed to give a clear picture of how the loan borrowed was utilised, but promised the lawmakers for details before the end of implementation of 2016 budget.