Zainab-Ahmed-e1556096843691

N1.2 Trillion Capital Expenditure Misses in Minister’s 2021 Budget Breakdown

Capital votes for the 2020 fiscal year amounting to N1.2tr was not captured when the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed presented details of the N13.08tr 2021 proposed expenditure in President Muhammadu Buhari’s appropriation bill to the National Assembly on Thursday, October 8 in Abuja.

Outlining the revenue and expenditure outlay for the 2020 budget, she explained that revenue performances at end of August 2020, revenue available for budget funding, excluding GOEs, was N2.52tr or 71 per cent of target.

“Federal Government’s share of oil revenues was N1.105tr or 164 per cent performance, over and above the prorated sum in the revised 2020 budget, while non-oil tax revenues came to N831.41b or 77 per cent of revised target).

“Companies Income Tax (CIT) and Value Added Tax (VAT) collections amounted to N447.52b and N117.75b, representing 82 per cent and 62 per cent of the prorated revised targets for the period.

“Customs collections came to N266.14b (77 per cent of revised target), while other revenues amounted to N583.82b, of which independent revenues yielded N281.81b,” she stated.

On the expenditure, she pointed out that N9.97tr was appropriated, excluding GOEs and loans tied to projects, while N6.25tr or 93.9 per cent of the prorated N6.65tr was spent.

“Of the expenditure, N2.14tr was for debt servicing, N2.18tr for personnel cost, including pensions and at end of August 2020, N761.79b was released for capital expenditure, rising to N1.2tr by end of September 2020,” she added.

Also, she failed to list the projects and the amount spent on each in her presentation.

Equally missing was the account of the expenditure items or projects in the first and second quarters 2020 Budget implementation reports already published.

The reports only captured monies released to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and their draw downs, leaving out the projects for which such funds were meant to finance to avail citizens the opportunity to checking and evaluating the outcomes of the funds deployed, among other infractions.

But the minister said following Federal Government’s desire to block revenue leakages, it would introduce new initiatives to check the menace.

“Several measures are being instituted to improve government revenue and entrench a regime of prudence with emphasis on achieving value for money. The goal of fiscal interventions will be to keep the economy active through carefully calibrated regulatory and policy measures designed to boost domestic value-addition, de-risk the enterprise environment, attract external investment and sources of funding.

“Improving the tax administration framework to optimise government’s revenue is a major thrust of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative (SRGI),” she added.

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