The House of Representatives adhoc committee, probing the implementation of the 2015 national budget, yesterday revealed that the recurrent expenditure gulped N4.312 trillion.
The figure represents 88 percent of the N4.49 trillion budget. The committee added that only 12 percent was allocated to capital projects.
Chairman of the committee, Hon. Aliyu Pategi (Kwara APC), who made the revelation during the first day of the rescheduled probe, said the ratio of recurrent/capital expenditure is unacceptably skewed in favour of running costs, overheads and salaries.
“In the 2015 appropriations for instance, 88 percent of the N4.49 trillion budget was allocated to recurrent expenditure, leaving just 12 percent for capital projects. This no doubt is unsustainable as it will cause a drain of our resources in the extreme and will not lead to growth of the economy,” Pategi said.
The House had on Thursday, August 13, 2015, passed a resolution setting up the ad-hoc committee with the mandate to look into the non-implementation of the capital provisions contained in the 2015 Appropriation Act.
During the adoption of the resolution by the House, it took cognisance of sections 80-83 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, on how monies belonging to the Federal Government can be kept and spent and also Section 30(1) of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, which mandates the Minister of Finance, through the Budget Office, to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the annual budget and assess the attainment of fiscal targets.
Dwelling on how the recent order handed down by President Muhammadu Buhari, directing that payment of all government revenues be made into the Treasury Single Account (TSA) will help reduce leakages, Pategi said the measure will ensure that all tiers of government get more funds to execute projects in their respective domains:
“I am sure I speak for all of you, colleagues, in applauding the recent pronouncement by President Buhari directing the payment of all government revenues into a Treasury Single Account (TSA), a position the National Assembly had all along canvassed and insisted upon over the years.
“We have no doubt that this directive if strictly adhered to, will bring more revenue to all tiers of government and change the dynamics of the Nigerian budget process. The inherent contradictions in the midst of plenty is what has led to noticeable revenue leakages and pilfering by those saddled with the mandate to collect these funds and bring to the consolidated federation account.
“While aware of dwindling government revenues as a result of the fall in the price of crude oil, we believe other sources of revenue should be vigorously pursued by the Ministry of Finance, to mitigate such fall in revenues in future.
Meanwhile, the committee has summoned the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, to explain the role of the apex bank.