Director-General of Budget Office, Dr. Ben Akabueze has given account of the poor performance of the 2016 budget, saying it was due to the loss of about N1.15trillion in Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, by the federal government during the fiscal year.
Akabueze, who spoke during an interactive session the National Assembly had with top government officials over the performance of the 2016 budget, disclosed that government realised only N398billion out of the projected N1.506trillion, resulting into loss of about N1.15trillion.
The director general also hinted that the problem created a huge funding gap for the government in the execution of the budget, adding that it has however spent N870billion so far out of the projected N1.587trillion capital vote, representing 55 per cent performance.
He said: “Due to the huge funding gap, government had no any other option in the budget execution than to prioritise implementation of its capital projects which based on N870.055billion already released out of the estimated N1.587trillion, is about 55% performance”.
Akabueze added that with recent approval for more releases for the capital votes, not less than N1trillion would be the total release for the capital component of the budget.
But when asked whether monies borrowed by the government to finance the budget the recurrent aspect of it, he parried the question by evasively responding that answer can be given at the end of the fiscal year itself.
“Due to fungibility of money, answer to the  question of whether the recurrent aspect of the 2018  budget is also funded by borrowings made by the government, cannot be given now until the end of the budget year itself”, he said.
Giving the Breakdown of the releases made so far in the N6.06trillion budget, the Accountant –General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris said a  total of N2.209trillion have been released for personnel cost representing 100 per cent, a total of N444.122billion for overhead cost, representing 85 per cent.
Others are N351billion for statutory transfers representing 100% and N1.3trillion for debt service (100 per cent).
In her own submission at the session, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed said due to shortage of fund for the implementation of the budget, government prioritise issuance of capital releases by focusing more on Agriculture and Mining sectors.
Meanwhile, the committee vented its anger on the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele, by chasing away his representative at the session, an Acting Director from the bank, Mohammed Yakub, for lacking the competence of doing so.
The committee however, ordered the CBN Governor to appear before it unfailingly today.
Emefiele incurred the wrath of the committee for not informing it ahead of the session of his absence as done by some other invited top government officials like the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, who however later attended the session before closing.
Attempts made by Emefiele’s representative at the session to tender apology on his behalf were rebuffed by the committee members who chorused “We don’t want to hear anything from you, just leave here and tell your boss to  meet the committee chairman unfailingly tomorrow (today).
“You lack the competence as an acting Director to stand before this committee representing the CBN Governor”, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Danjuma Goje ruled.


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