The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, was yesterday grilled on the implementation of the 2016 budget.
Udoma, who appeared before the Senate Committee on Appropriations, was grilled for two hours with the senators decrying the level of implementation of the budget.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari on May 6 signed N6.06 trillion 2016 Appropriation Bill into law.
Chairman of the Committee, Danjuma Goje (APC, Gombe Central), who spoke first, asked the minister the level of implementation of the budget and the spread of cash releases to ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
In his response, Mr. Udoma said the federal government was not achieving the target because of the drop in the country’s revenue.
He, however, pointed out that 50 percent has been achieved on personnel, 25 percent on overhead costs and 15 percent on capital projects.
“Out of the N1,723,819,398,198 budgeted for personnel, we have released N871,459,760,939; overhead, the projection is N218,368,364,886 and on capital projects which 1,587,598, 122,280 was projected, N247,980,089,261 was released. We still have 10 months for the implementation of the capital projects, you generously gave us up till May next year for its implementation”, the minister explained.
He said no new project has been funded because of the procurement procedure and low revenue generation.
In response to the question what criteria was used in releasing funds, Udoma said: “We wrote to MDAs to give us their priority projects, we reviewed it and even cut it”.
Each of the 10 senators on the committee asked the minister questions on the budget.