Poor Implementation Of 2010 Budget


The disclosure on Monday by the Minister of Finance, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, that the  actual capital spending for the 2010 budget was just about 43 per cent as at October  is, to say the least, disheartening.

It shows how unconcerned and insensitive government is on the plight of Nigerians  and in solving the developmental and infrastructural challenges Nigeria is facing.

According to the Finance Minister, as at 31 October 2010, less than N2.3 trillion of  the 2010 budget had been released for implementation.

Late last year, the National Assembly passed N4.608 trillion as budget for the 2010  fiscal year. The budget was based on projected Federal revenue of N3.086 trillion  resulting in a deficit of N1.521 trillion.

The overall expenditure profile was N529 billion higher than the initial N4.079  trillion budget originally presented by late President Umaru Yar’Adua in November  2009.

The passage of the new figure followed the adoption of the report of the Committees  on Appropriation of both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The budget was based on an oil benchmark of $67 per barrel as against $57 initially  proposed by Yar’Adua and predicated on estimated production of 2.350 million barrels  of crude per day as against 2.088 million barrel initially proposed.

Revenue projection was retained at an exchange rate of N150 to the US dollar as  originally proposed by Yar’Adua.

After the passage of the budget, Chairman Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator  Iyiola Omisore, declared that the increase was to provide ample funds for  infrastructure development in some critical sectors, which were not adequately  provided for in the initial appropriation bill.

However, a year after the budget was passed and only weeks to the end of 2010, less  than half of the funds has been made available for infrastructure. This is far from  being laudable.

Nigeria is facing challenges of gargantuan proportions. Our infrastructure in most  sectors of the economy have virtually collapsed. Our roads are death traps. The  challenges in education and healthcare are overwhelming. Virtually, all sectors of  the economy are in dire need of funds to function properly.

As a country, we do not seem to have enough money to solve our numerous problems. It  is therefore preposterous that money is returned to the national treasury instead of  being used for what it was budgeted for.

We condemn the poor implementation of the 2010 budget and call on government to  avoid a repeat next year.

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