By Henry Umoru
ABUJA— THE Senate, yesterday, took a swipe at the Federal Government over what it described as the poor implementation of the 2018 budget, noting that Nigerians were not feeling the impact of government because of the failure of the executive to adequately fund the budget.
The Senate had also blamed the government for not releasing adequate funds that would enable the federal agencies to execute developmental projects.
Speaking to journalists, yesterday, in Abuja shortly after the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, appeared before the Senate Committee on Information for the 2019 budget defence, Chairman of the committee, Senator Suleiman Adokwe (PDP, Nasarawa South) said: “Before the budget defence exercise, we have done a bit of oversight functions and we noticed that releases for capital projects were quite low. Most of the agencies that we visited received between 10 and 15 per cent releases.Senate
“Based on our interactions with the various agencies of government, we have discovered that capital releases are still very low. So far, the highest I have seen, the highest release is 67 per cent.
“Releases to some agencies are hovering between 40 and 45 per cent. So, the 2018 budget implementation, in our opinion is not very encouraging and capital releases are what really ginger the economy.
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“This is because it is the expenditure arising from capital provisions that put money in the system and this has been very low. Only salaries have been paid up to 100 per cent.
“Overhead releases have not been up to 60 per cent in many cases and even most agencies received just for six months for the 2018 financial year which is not good enough.”
Meanwhile, the Information Minister during his presentation before the committee said 2018 budget implementation performance of the ministry was about 67 percent, which according to him, was better than that of 2017, even as he appealed to the committee to ensure appropriation of the entire N6.121 billion budgetary allocations proposed for the ministry for the 2019 fiscal year.Related