The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, yesterday told members of the senate committee on Appropriations, Finance and Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions that the 2016 budget will not be accommodating constituency projects usually carried out by National Assembly members.
Babachir was summoned by the senate to explain a statement he made in a recent interview that constituency projects may not be funded by the 2016 budget. The Minister told members of the senate that he stands by his comment.
“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. I will explain why it will be hard for the government to implement the budget. I spoke with the Minister of Budget this morning and I asked him the revenue base of the government. We are now receiving about 50 to 60 earnings from what we projected.” Some Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) might find it impossible to implement projects appropriated in their budgets. We have to re-prioritize. I like us to understand that this is the background upon which I made that statement”
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