House of Representatives ad hoc committee, looking into the implementation of the 2015 national budget, yesterday revealed that only 12 per cent was allocated to capital projects saying that the annual recurrent expenditure gulped 88 per cent of the N4.49 trillion budget.
Hon. Aliyu Pategi, Chairman of the committee said the ratio of recurrent/capital expenditure is unacceptably skewed in favour of running costs, overheads and salaries.
“In the 2015 appropriations for instance, 88% of the 4.49 trillion Naira budget was allocated to recurrent expenditure, leaving just 12% for capital projects. This no doubt is unsustainable as it will cause a drain of our resources in the extreme and will not lead to growth of the economy,” the law maker said.
“I am sure I speak for all of you, colleagues, in applauding the recent pronouncement by President Buhari directing the payment of all government revenues into a Treasury Single Account (TSA), a position the National Assembly had all along canvassed and insisted upon over the years. “We have no doubt that this directive if strictly adhered to, will bring more revenue to all tiers of government and change the dynamics of the Nigerian budget process.
You will agree that the inherent contradictions in the midst of plenty is what has led to noticeable revenue leakages and pilfering by those saddled with the mandate to collect these funds and bring to the consolidated federation account.
“While aware of dwindling government revenues as a result of the fall in the price of crude oil, we believe other sources of revenue should be vigorously pursued by the Ministry of Finance, to mitigate such fall in revenues in future.
“Equally, those given the mandate to collect our revenues must be up and doing to enhance the overall revenue base of the government. We are encouraged that the present government is taking a critical look at waivers, pioneer status and other tax exemptions, which hitherto have been riddled with corruption,” Pategi explained.
The committee has summoned the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele to explain the role of the apex bank. Senior officials of the Ministry of Finance, including the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Anastasia Mabi Daniel-Nwaobia who did not appear before the committee are expected to turn up when the probe resumes next Tuesday.
It will be recalled that the House of Representatives on Thursday, 13th August, 2015, passed a resolution setting up the ad-Hoc committee with the mandate to look into the nonimplementation of the capital provisions contained in the 2015 Appropriation Act.
During the adoption of the resolution by the House, it took cognisance of sections 80-83 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, on how monies belonging to the federal government can be kept and spent and also section 30(1) of the fiscal Responsibility Act which clearly mandates the Minister of Finance, through the Budget Office to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the annual budget and assess the attainment of fiscal targets.
– Dyepkazah Shibayan, Abuja