• Wednesday, July 24, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Senate bemoans poor performance of 2024 capital budget, urges FG to increase funding

No request for presidential jet before us yet – Senate

The Senate on Wednesday expressed concern on the performance of the capital component of the 2024 budget, and called on the executive arm of the Federal Government to intensify efforts on funding the budget.

Solomon Adeola, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, said N1.84billion has achieved so far out of a N9 trillion capital expenditure component, which according to him, “is nothing to write home about.”

Adeola voiced these concerns when Wale Edun, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, and Oluwatoyin Madein, the Accountant General of the Federation, appeared before the panel to discuss the budget’s performance.

Adeola lamented the poor funding of the capital components of the budgets and urged the Coordinating Minister for the Economy to improve on it.

“It is the capital component of the budgets that will showcase this government largely in terms of performances”, he emphasized.

The capital components, Adeola noted, are essential for executing various projects that demonstrate the government’s actions to the public. He stressed the importance of better engagement with ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) to ensure they understand the new funding arrangements for capital projects.

“That is why we are emphasising on the performance of 2024 capital component of the project. I would want you to please look towards this direction. And I want you to do more engagement with the ministries and departments and agencies of the government.”

Read also: The deadly duo of insecurity and floods fuel Nigeria’s food crisis

“I tell you for free, some agencies will tell you that they have not been given any money for capital when we are fully aware that the process of payment of capital has changed. That shows a lot of engagement has to go on from time to time to bring it to their notice that you are no longer in charge of payment to contractors”, he added.

He, however commended the Minister for achieving 100% funding of the 2023 supplementary budgets but noted significant lag in the main 2023 budget.

Adeola furthr raised questions about the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited’s (NNPCL) capacity, highlighting discrepancies between promised and actual oil production figures.

Adeola nevertheless commended the Minister for achieving 100 per cent funding of the 2023 supplementary budgets.

The Senate panel chairman announced plans for a public hearing on the NNPCL, where stakeholders in the oil and gas sector, including the Finance Minister, will be invited. He criticized the lack of progress on promised refinery projects and the neglect of local producers and refineries.

“They have promised to deliver on our refineries for the last couple of months, billions of dollars have been expended and nothing to show for. The local producers have not been encouraged, the local refineries have not been encouraged. No progress has been made in this direction. So all this and more is what we look into in the future”, he said.

The Finance Minister told the Senators that his ministry would intensify efforts in monitoring the revenue generating agencies to be up andand doing.