President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his administration failed to release N1.13trn of the projected funds for capital expenditure in the 2018 budget.

He disclosed this during his Independence Day address to the country on Tuesday.

He said, “As at June 20, this year, up to N1.74trn had been released for capital projects in the 2018 fiscal year.”

The National Assembly approved the sum of N2.87trn for capital expenditure in 2018.

PMB grudgingly signed the act into law on June 20, 2018.

By his pronouncement, this implies that the government fell short of its capital expenditure promise by 39.37 per cent.

This however, is no surprise, as the government rarely meets its targeted spending on capital projects.

In 2017, the budget office notes that N1.58trn was released for projects as at June 2018— about one year after PMB signed the 2017 budget.

This was N780bn short of the 2.36trn it promised to spend on infrastructural development.

When both years are compared, the presidency could be said to have regressed in meeting its revenue targets.

In 2017, the presidency attained an estimated 65.68 per cent of its projected spending.

In 2018 however, that figure fell to 60.23 per cent. Seeing as the presidency began the voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme in 2017 and oil prices started to soar as well, it would have been expected that the government would have been able to realise a higher percentage of its budget implementation target than it did.

Buhari added, “Implementation of the 2019 capital budget, which was only approved in June 2019, will be accelerated to ensure that critical priority projects are completed or substantially addressed.”

Speaking further, Buhari promised that the Ministry of Finance will be directed to release N600bn for capital expenditure in the next three months.

At this rate, the government will release N200bn per month or N2.4trn 12 months after he signed the 2019 budget.

This will still be less than the N2.93trn it promised to spend on infrastructural developments in 2019.

PMB went on to inform Nigerians that he’s government will raise N205bn from the tax credit scheme he signed in January 2019 with private sector companies.

He also promised to sign the Petroleum Industry Bill and amend the Production Sharing Contract to reform the oil and gas industry and improve revenue generation.

He said, “The Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning has been directed to release N600bn for capital expenditure in the next three months.

“To maximise impact, we shall continue to increasingly welcome and encourage private capital for infrastructural development through Public Private Partnerships.

“Through the Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme, which I initiated in January this year, we are giving incentives to private sector inflow of over N205bn in 19 Nigerian roads and bridges of 794.4km across 11 States of the Federation.”

 

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