Senate Scores Executive Low On 2024 Budget Implementation

Senate Scores Executive Low On 2024 Budget Implementation

2 weeks ago
2 mins read

Capital Budget Implementation Criticised

The Senate has criticised the executive for its poor implementation of the capital component of the 2024 budget.

On Wednesday, the Senate urged the Federal Government to intensify efforts in funding the capital components of the three national budgets currently running concurrently in the country.

Senator Solomon Adeola, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, expressed his concerns when the Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, and the Accountant General of the Federation, Oluwatoyin Madein, appeared before the panel.

“It is the capital component of the budgets that will showcase this government largely in terms of performances,” Adeola stated.

Poor Funding and Call for Improvement

Adeola highlighted the inadequate funding of the capital components, urging the Coordinating Minister for the Economy to address the issue.

“The N1.84bn achieved so far out of an N9trn capital expenditure component is nothing to write home about,” Adeola said. He called for more engagement with the ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) to ensure proper funding and implementation.

“Some agencies will tell you that they have not been given any money for capital when we are fully aware that the process of payment of capital has changed,” Adeola noted.

He emphasized the need for continuous engagement to inform the MDAs about the new payment systems and to ensure they are aware of their roles and responsibilities.

READ ALSO: N30trn Probe: Senate Receives Fresh Documents From AGF

Public Hearing on NNPC Planned

The Senate panel chairman also hinted at plans to organize a public hearing on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), where stakeholders in the oil and gas sector, including the Finance Minister, would be invited.

“We will soon bring everyone in that industry, the NNPC, the upstream and downstream to the table because there are a lot of reports that we have concerning that,” Adeola mentioned.

Commendation and Further Recommendations

Despite the criticisms, Adeola commended the Minister of Finance for achieving 100 percent funding of the 2023 supplementary budgets.

“It will not be out of place for you to have a periodic report on the implementation level of these agencies so that at least you can be guided,” he suggested.

He also urged continuous efforts to improve the implementation of the main 2023 budget, which is lagging by over 50 percent.

Finance Minister’s Response

In response, Finance Minister, Wale Edun, assured the Senate of ongoing efforts to improve budget implementation. Edun mentioned that the Federal Government had made progress in its forensic investigation into the N30 trillion ways and means.

He also addressed issues related to the procurement of electric and CNG vehicles, stating that high freight costs had delayed progress.

“The procurement of electric and CNG buses and conversion kits has been held up by a spike in the freight costs,” Edun explained.

On debt payments, he said, “We have paid $700 million in debt services for 420 national development agencies and others.”

Edun pledged that his ministry would intensify efforts in monitoring revenue-generating agencies and ensure all debts are serviced.

“We are also interrogating the revenues that are due to us from everybody because we need to. The view of the fact that ways and means are going down rather than up,” he added.

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Emmanuel Ochayi is a journalist. He is a graduate of the University of Lagos, School of first choice and the nations pride. Emmanuel is keen on exploring writing angles in different areas, including Business, climate change, politics, Education, and others.

Emmanuel Ochayi is a journalist. He is a graduate of the University of Lagos, School of first choice and the nations pride. Emmanuel is keen on exploring writing angles in different areas, including Business, climate change, politics, Education, and others.

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