The Edo State House of Assembly on Monday passed the state’s 2017 budget proposal of 153.18bn Naira.
Governor Godwin Obaseki had on December 19, 2016 presented a budget proposal of 150bn Naira to the House for consideration and passage.
The budget consists of N75.11bn for capital expenditure, while the proposed recurrent expenditure stood at N74.9 billion
The House of Assembly increased the appropriation bill with about N3bn, representing 0.15 increase.
The Chairman, Assembly Committee on Appropriation and Project Monitoring, Mr Damian Lawani, said that the budget reflected the needs of the people and was designed to consolidate and complete all ongoing projects.
During the consideration of the bill, N76.6bn was allocated for capital expenditure, while N76.5bn was allocated for recurrent expenditure.
The breakdown of the proposal showed that N18.5bn, N7.2bn, N3.6bn and N6.034bn were allocated for the recurrent expenditure of the administrative, economic, law and justice and social sectors, respectively.
Also, N5.68bn, N47bn and N1.84bn and N22.09bn were allocated for the capital expenditure for the administrative, economic, law and justice and social sectors, respectively.
The House of Assembly, after the consideration of the document with amendments, passed the bill.
The Speaker, Mr Justin Okonoboh, directed that the clean copies of the bill be sent to the Governor for his assent.
The Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has presented before the Imo State House of Assembly, a budget of N131, 143,144,277 for the 2017 fiscal year.
During the presentation of the budget at the hallow chambers of the Imo state house of assembly in Owerri the state capital, Governor Okorocha announced that the document has been named “Budget Of Consolidation and Continuity II”.
Governor Okorocha disclosed that, capital expenditure has N77, 413, 2016, 169, equivalent to 59.03% while recurrent expenditure has N53, 729,938,108 equivalent to 40.97%.
He said that the 2017 budget proposal would seek to “stimulate the economy by focusing on infrastructural development, delivering inclusive growth, creating good environment for industry, commerce, tourism and investment”.
The proposed 2017 budget is higher than the 2016 budget by 27,934,662,247 which translates to 28.3% increase.
The Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, has presented the 2017 Appropriation Bill of 301 billion naira to the state House of Assembly.
Christened ‘Budget of Infinite Transposition’, the budget, according to the Governor, seeks to achieve three cardinal objectives of improving and expanding infrastructure through Public Private Partnership, planting the tree of the state future revenue generation and gradual industrialization of the state.
Giving a breakdown of the budget, N81,142,339,895.32 is allocated for recurrent expenditure while N220,060,873,053.48 is allocated for capital expenditure.
The recurrent expenditure represents 24.8% of the budget while the capital expenditure represents 75.2% of the budget estimate.
He said that the state intends to fund the budget from Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), Statutory Allocation, Capital Receipts and Projected Investor Revenue from Direct Foreign Investments.
According to the estimate, N81,142,339,895,32 is expected to be generated through IGR, N41,676,220,113.64 from statutory allocation, 76,070,524,023.85 from donor agencies, 38,474,892,065.29 from the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery Fund and 63,839,236,850.70 from revenue from investments.
Making the presentation, Ayade informed the Assembly that it was the desire of his administration in 2017 to focus on the superhighway because it is the main energy that will open up the vista of opportunities for prosperity.
Describing the size of the appropriation bill as ambitious, Ayade said he was optimistic that it can be achieved because when there is cash deficiency, the intellect takes over.
Yobe State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, on Thursday assented to the 2016 appropriation and finance bills.
The state government has for the year 2016 set aside 88.9 billion Naira in the appropriation and finance bills tagged “Result based Budget for Consolidation, Reconstruction and Self-Reliance”.
The figure represents an increase of over 8.93 billion Naira or 10 per cent above that of the year 2014.
Assenting to the budget, Governor Gaidam said 48 per cent of the budget is earmarked for capital expenditure, while the capital expenditure stood at 52 per cent.
Despite the dwindling resources, the Governor expressed hope that with commitment to Internally Generated Revenue, coupled with significant improvement in security situation, his administration will implement the budget effectively, despite the dwindling resources.
He charged Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to “uphold the principles of probity, accountability and transparency, as well as to prepare their budget implementation work plans in accordance with the approved guidelines and submit same to the Ministry of Budget and Planning”.
While appealing to government establishments to ensure due process in the performance of government functions, Governor Gaidam called on them to always imbibe the culture of financial discipline.
He also called on people of the state to accord government the needed support in its transformation agenda.
The Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Adamu Dogo, said the state assembly during work on the budget, made amend on the recurrent and capital expenditure to serve with current economic realities.
The Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, has presented a budget estimate of 116,164, 043,000 naira to the state House of Assembly for the 2016 fiscal year.
The estimate is a decrease of over 1.5 billion naira over the 2015 revised appropriation which represents 1.3% decrease.
Out of the estimate, the budget is made up of recurrent expenditure of over 48 billion, over 10 billion naira for the public debt service while over 57 billion is earmarked for capital expenditure.
Tagged the budget of sustained expansion, the State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, who laid the budget before the state lawmakers, said that the budget proposal was based on zero-budgeting approach for ministries, departments and agencies to justify all their expenditure needs in line with the prevailing economic situation in the country.
According to him, the total projected revenue estimate from all available sources to the state for 2016 fiscal year is over 116 billion naira.
Governor Ahmed also said that the 2016 Kwara budget holds great opportunity for the state and country, despite the challenges ahead.
He called on residents of the state to continue to cooperate with the government in its effort to elevate the state and contribute their quota to the development of the state.
The Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, has presented the year 2015 budget to the Osun state House of Assembly, with a 197.8 billion Naira estimate.
The budget, tagged, ‘Budget of Renewed Hope’ is less than that of 2014 which was 234 billion Naira, with about 15.8 per cent decrease.
The total recurrent expenditure presented was 87 billion Naira while the Capital Expenditure was 110 billion Naira.
In the proposed budget, the Economic Sector, covering agriculture and rural development, rural/urban electrification, commerce, industry, finance and transportation accounted for the largest chunk with 41.6 billion Naira.
The total Recurrent Revenue is 132 billion Naira while the Capital Revenue is 65 billion Naira.
Presenting the budget on behalf of the governor, the permanent secretary, office of budget and Economic planning, Segun Olorunsogo, said that the budget would ensure the completion of on-going projects and commencement of new ones for the comfort of the people.
The Governor, who noted that the budget had already been over-stretched, appealed to the Assembly not to entertain request that could lead to increase in the proposed figure.
He, however, noted that extra efforts would be made to generate more revenue internally, especially through collection of existing taxes and rate without necessarily imposing new tax regime on the people of the state.
Receiving the budget, the speaker of the Osun state House of Assembly, Honourable Najeem Salaam, assured the Governor that the budget would be thoroughly looked into before the final approval would be given.
The 2014 budget presented by the Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in December and is yet to be passed into law has continued to be a source of concern for analysts and economists owing to disparities which they insist will not benefit the populace.
One of such analysts, the Editor in Chief of Financial Standard, Bola Onanuga, on Saturday, said the increase in the recurrent expenditure of the 2014 budget is as a result of corruption in government.
Speaking on Channels Television’s Saturday breakfast programme, Sunrise, he said “the major reason why the recurrent expenditure is increasing is corruption.” He also attributed the increase to lack of focus as well as selfishness on the part of the government.
“We are a very selfish people” hence “most times we look more at the current situation rather than the future.”
The capital expenditure which accounts for development projects and infrastructure often takes the back burner in budget “because the large population of civil servants that are extremely very corrupt must be taken care of,” he said.
Commenting on Nigeria’s export profile, he expressed hope that the nation would regain sure footing in exportation of goods. He said that Nigeria is currently among the major exporters of cassava having lost its position in cocoa export to other countries. He however stated that there are efforts by the government to rectify that.
He commended the Goodluck Jonathan administration for encouraging the private sector and called on Nigerians to exercise patience. “In any economy that must be transformed, there must be patience,” he said, adding that “what the GEJ government is pursuing economically is working but not politically.”
“It might be a very little improvement (but) there has been a lot of improvement in the economy,” he said citing the rise in private companies which increases employment rate.
He complained that the progress in the agricultural sector is slow as there is not enough engagement at the state and local levels of government. He also faulted the citizenry for not being creative and for being over-dependent on the government in terms of job creation.
Also speaking on the programme, a Policy Analyst, Galtima Liman, said he is not given to euphoria as the budget doesn’t define the cause of development while the real aggregate issues have not been tackled.
70 percent of the 2014 budget which accounts for what the government intends to spend on recurrent expenditure is a contradiction of what the Finance Minister said the budget will focus on according to Liman. The minister had said that the 2014 budget focused on job creation and inclusive growth but Liman countered saying “if you are spending a lot more on recurrent, how are you going to have enough to spend on projects?”
Although the oil and gas sector fetches the nation most of its revenue, the sector isn’t contributing optimally as a result of leakages in the system (vandalism), Liman said adding that there’s a huge deficit in the system because the nation isn’t making as much revenue as it should.
He also argued that the 70 percent recurrent expenditure which is used to settle salaries as well as expenses of legislative and executive arms of government is being spent on less than 1 percent of the population.
He also applauded the private sector for filling the loopholes created by government.
An economist, Gabriel Idahosa has said that it is possible for the nation’s capital expenditures to dominate 50 percent of its budget only if the National Assembly takes the lead by cutting down on its budget.
Speaking on the 2014/2016 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy on Channels Television’s Business Morning, Mr Idahosa highlighted the significance of the programme, adding that the plan will allow the policy makers to “be on the same page” and “have a three year view of where policy direction is moving”.
The 2014/2016 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy is a new plan by the government to have a three year framework guiding its budget.
Mr Idahosa explained that what the government has done for the past seven years is rather than do a yearly budget. However, the new plan will produce a three year framework around which fiscal policies including exchange, level of capital expenditure, recurrent expenditure, will be created.
“The framework enables everyone involved (National Assembly, federal, state and local governments) to have a view of what’s going to happen over that 3 year period and see the connection between each of the budgets for each of these three years”.
Speaking on the way the budget and how recurrent expenditures gulps 70 percent, Mr Idahosa said that the government is still struggling to move more of our budget to capital expenditure and away from the dominance or a recurrent expenditure.
He expressed hope that the recurrent expenditures of the nation would take 50 percent of the budget and 50 percent for capital expenditures.
However, he was quick to stress that it would only be possible if the government, particularly the National Assembly, expressed strong political will and is ready to lead by example.
“It requires a very strong political will. It requires also some amount of sacrifice by various arms of government starting (of course) with the National Assembly.
The National Assembly has to really tell Nigerians at some point that they are there to serve the people. They want to show example. They want to cut down on their own budget and tell the rest of government to cut down” the way they have done.
The total releases for this year’s capital budget has risen to N1.01 trillion as the Federal Government announced the release of another N300 billion for the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter release, which represents 75 percent of the total capital budget of N1.3 trillion, according the Ministry Finance, is to ensure that the momentum on capital budget implementation is maintained as the year comes to a close.
The latest release is coming amid criticisms by the National Assembly that the implementation of the budget, which effectively commenced in April, is below expectations.
In a statement issued by Paul Nwbuikwu, the Senior Special Assistant to the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the ministry said the impact of budget implementation can be gleaned from improvements in various sectors of the economy, including power, agriculture, job creation, transportation, and ports reforms.
Power supply in many parts of the country, the ministry pointed out, “has improved to a consistent level of 15 hours per day” even as it stated that rehabilitation of existing power infrastructure has yielded up to 1000 megawatts of additional electricity.
“NIPP projects are being fast tracked which will lead to an additional 1055 megawatts by end 2012. The prospects for progress in power supply have increased significantly with the imminent conclusion of the privatisation programme,” the statement said.
On agriculture, it affirmed that in pursuit of the 3.5 million jobs target by 2015, 13 new private sector rice mills with a capacity of 240,000 metric tonnes have been established even as one million metric tonnes of dried cassava chips are exported to China.
It also stated that the railway modernisation programme is progressing with the Abuja-Kaduna line is now at 46 per cent completion while the rehabilitation of Lagos-Kano and Lagos-Ibadan lines has opened up new platforms for passenger traffic.
Giving an insight into how the implementation of the 2012 Budget has rubbed off positively on ports reforms, the ministry stated that the clearance time for cargoes in the ports has been reduced from 39 days to seven days.
On job creation drive, the ministry said the Community Services, Women and Youth Employment Programme components of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), which was inaugurated in February 2012 are already working in 14 states.
The 2013 Budget on Monday passed second reading in the Senate but the lawmakers faulted the budget expressing concern that funds appropriated for capital expenditure would not encourage growth.
Leading the debate on the budget, Senate leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba said the 2013 budget makes provisions for the sum of N971 billion for petroleum subsidy.
The plenary session lasted several hours as lawmakers took their time to debate the 2013 budget as some of the lawmakers noted that the proposed budget is not offering Nigerians anything dramatically different.
The 2013 budget of N4.92 trillion is made up of N591.76 billion for debt service, N2.41 trillion for recurrent expenditure and N1.54 trillion for capital expenditure.
The lawmakers faulted the allocation for recurrent expenditure and debt servicing.
Some other lawmakers also flawed the allocations for what they consider to be critical sectors of the economy while some expressed dissatisfaction with the manner in which the SURE-P program has been managed.
Meanwhile, some lawmaker’s grievance still lies with the level of implementation of the 2012 budget.
President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday forwarded a 2013-2015 medium –term expenditure framework and fiscal strategy paper to the Senate.
The president in the document disclosed that the share of recurrent spending in aggregate expenditure is set to further reduce from 71.47 percent in 2012 to 68.7 percent in 2013 while capital expenditure as a share of aggregate spending is set to increase from 28.53 percent in 2012 to 31.3 percent in 2013.
He said that in line with the policy of consolidation, the fiscal deficit is expected to continue on a declining path from 2.85 percent of GDP in 2012 to 2.17 percent in 2013.
According to the president, the federal government will sustain its efforts to increase revenue as well as that of capital spending in total expenditure, reduce the fiscal deficit and the corresponding borrowing requirement to a more sustainable level.
He further said that government intends to further strengthen fiscal consolidation by scaling back it’s spending and creating a prosperous environment for a private sector led growth.
In furtherance of this, it stated that government would rationalize the large number of agencies based on the recommendations of the Oronsaye committee.
President Jonathan noted that in the light of the huge amount paid on petroleum subsidy in 2011, the government will streamline the management of the subsidy scheme by strengthening the audit and verification process.
He further said that in line with the oil-price based fiscal rule, a cautious oil benchmark price of $75 per barrel has been chosen for 2013-2015 period while oil production of 2.53 mbpd, 2.61 mbpd and 2.65 mbpd will be adopted for the 2013, 2014 and 2015 fiscal years respectively.