State House Permanent Secretary, Mr. Jalal Arabi on Thursday said the budget has been reduced from N16.6billion in 2016 to N13.6 billion in 2017 due to economic recession.
While defending the State House 2017 budget proposal before the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs on Thursday in Abuja, he explained that the management of State House would strategically prioritise its demands within available resources.
Giving insight into budgetary provisions, Jalal explained that it would among other things be used to complete projects that were started in 2016.
“Appreciative of the dwindling government revenues, there is 18 per cent reduction from the 2016 Appropriation of N16.6 billion to the 2017 proposed budget of N13.6 billion.
“The 2017 Budget Proposal seeks to consolidate on the performance of the 2016 Appropriation”, he said.
“It is aimed principally at completing ongoing projects captured in the 2016 appropriation which could not be completed due to paucity and irregular release of funds.
“For instance, out of the sum of N2.8 billion appropriated for the State House Medical Centre, only N866.6 million or 31 per cent was actually released”, he added.
Arabi further said that contrary to public perception that the state house was wasteful, it had been consistent and conservative in its budget estimates.
According to him, the management was always mindful of challenges faced by the country in the area of revenue generation over the years.
“The state house is focusing on improvement of its basic training programmes in line with the Federal Government policy.
“This is aimed at increasing our research base to improve efficiency in service delivery,’’ he said.
He assured that the management of the state house would continue to carry out its operations in line with international best practices, adding that this was done by providing efficient and qualitative services.