‘FG May Not Fully Implement 2016 Budget’ – SGF Blames Funding Woes on Militants
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Babachir David Lawal while appearing before the senate on Wednesday stated that the federal government cannot fully implement the N6.06 trillion 2016 budget passed by the National Assembly.
Lawal told a joint Senate committee on Appropriations, Finance and Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions that the revenues of the government had drastically dropped by 50 to 60 per cent; contrary to projections.
According to The Nation, the SGF was at the senate to explain a comment he was reported to have made stating that the 2016 constituency projects of the lawmakers, as captured in the budget, would not be implemented.
In his speech before the senate, Lawal blamed the drop in Nigeria’s revenue on activities of militants in the Niger Delta, noting that the oil benchmark of $38 per barrel fixed by the federal government has been drastically dislocated.
“The statement is correct. That is my statement, we cannot guarantee the implementation of constituency projects in the 2016 budget. As a government, constituency projects are championed by members of the National Assembly. Like the legislature, members of the executive are politicians who canvassed for votes.
“Lawmakers are aware that oil barrels had dwindled to about 800,000 per day. This has led to the inability of government to finance the budget. It is the duty of government to prepare the minds of Nigerians ahead that there will be challenges in implementing the budget.
“Government based its principle on zero budgeting this year. Funds will be released to finance key projects in line with the implementation plans of the government,” Lawal said.
The SGF added that some Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) might also find it impossible to implement projects appropriated in their budgets and there was therefore a need to re-prioritise.
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