The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, has dropped the hint that the total budgetary spending on 2016 capital expenditure may be reduced by the federal government amid the disclosure that the budget would not be fully implemented.
The minister gave the hint in London while addressing international investors.
Our correspondent reports that the capital expenditure in the Appropriation Bill passed by the National Assembly and signed by President Muhammadu Buhari is N1.59 trillion – 15 per cent lower than the N1.86 trillion proposed by the Executive in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework.
The figure (N1.59b) represents 26 per cent of the N6.06 trillion 2016 budget signed by the president.
Though Mrs. Adeosun was not specific on the expected amount to be yanked off the 2016 budget or any capital expenditure head to be affected, a source at the Budget Office claimed that over 50 per cent of the capital expenditure budget would not be implemented. This means only the sum of N795 billion would be available for spending on capital projects in the fiscal year.
According to the minister, who spoke while addressing international investors, the decision to reduce capital expenditure spending was favoured against an option of increased borrowing to plug the increasing revenue gap.
Recall that the 2016 budget has a deficit of N2.21 trillion or 2.14 per cent of GDP, which the Executive said will be sourced from domestic and foreign borrowings with the promise that it will be applied strictly to financing capital expenditure.
Speaking further, the Budget Office source, who spoke under the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press, said the unimplemented portions of the 2016 budget would be transferred to next year’s.
Although Adeosun said the government would not want to increase its debt to GDP ratio in 2016, she hinted that the ratio would eventually go up over the next three years to about 20 per cent from current 13 per cent.
This means that the current administration plans to borrow annually throughout the span of its first four years.
Meanwhile, the minister stated that the Treasury Single Account, TSA, which was N2.9 trillion in March, has witnessed significant increase to N3.3 trillion in May.
She further noted that the finance ministry was continuing to discover pockets of revenue that had escaped its net, including visa fees, airport landing charges and shipping levies.
Akeredolu Sacks Ondo Attorney-General, Olawoye
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has sacked the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Kola Olawoye.
This was made known in a statement on Monday by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Segun Ajiboye.
Akeredolu immediately appointed a human rights lawyer, Mr. Charles Titiloye, as the new Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice.
According to the statement, the Ondo State governor would forward Titiloye’s name to the State House of Assembly for confirmation.
Akeredolu also expressed his appreciation to the sacked commissioner for services rendered to the state.
Focus On Reducing Poverty, Not 2023 Elections – Peter Obi
Former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, has called on his fellow politicians to put issues of 2023 aside and focus on how to rescue the country from the current economic crisis.
Obi said that solving the economic problems of Nigeria was more important than political permutations geared towards the next general elections.
The former Anambra State Governor stated during an appearance on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.
He expressed that the next election has no impact on people’s current livelihoods.
Obi also blamed President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for not adequately preparing Nigerians for the impact of COVID-19, stating the monies borrowed by this government were not properly put to use.
“Every other country is discussing the recession and how to pull their people out of poverty.
“So what we should do now is to concentrate on the monetary and fiscal policies to start pulling people out of poverty,” Obi said.
Recession: Nigeria Is Broke, Can’t Afford 2021 Budget – Atiku
Former Vice-President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar has expressed that the Federal Government should reconsider the 2021 budget owing to the recession.
Nigeria officially entered into its worst economic recession in 33 years after the nation recorded a GDP contraction of 3.62 percent in the third quarter of 2020.
He stated that Nigeria is broke and cannot afford the luxurious items in the N13.08 trillion budget proposal.
Atiku in a Twitter thread on Sunday stated that COVID-19 only complicated an existing economic problem.
Atiu went on to express that had President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration listened to advice, the recession could have been avoided.
“We could have avoided this fate by a disciplined and prudent management of our economy.”
“This could have been avoided had this administration taken heed to the patriotic counsel given by myself and other well-meaning Nigerians on cutting the cost of governance, saving for a rainy day, and avoiding profligate borrowing,” Atiku said.
He further said that now is not the time to trade blames but to focus on ways to manage the situation and called on Buhari’s government to “swallow its pride, and accept its limitations, so that they can open their minds to ideas, without caring who the messenger is.”
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