By Folasade Akpan
Abuja – The Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) says the Federal Government achieved 66.22 per cent capital budget performance in 2017 with projects cash backed up to N1.56 trillion.
The figure was obtained from the FRC 2017 Annual Report and Audited Accounts on Monday in Abuja.
The report said that of N2.17 trillion allocated for capital expenditure in 2017, only N1.439 trillion was utilised by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
The figure leaves a balance of N734.5 billion as either not cash backed or utilised.
The report described the performance as impressive compared to the 2016 record which had only N1.58 trillion as capital expenditure and N1.21 trillion cash backed projects.
“According to the Budget Implementation Report (BIR), as released by the Budget Office of the Federation (BOF), as at June 12, 2018, a total of N1.56 trillion was released and cash backed to MDAs for 2017 capital projects and programmes.
“The sum of N303.46 billion was released in the first batch or warrant, N365.35 billion in the second, N66.42 billion in the third and N19.67 in the fourth batch or warrant.
“Additional releases of N23.30 billion and N784.94 billion as Authority to Incur Expenditure (AIEs), were made.
“The report also revealed that N1.439 billion or 92.12 per cent of the total amount released and cash backed were utilised by MDAs as at June 12, 2018 which signified the end of the 2017 capital budget implementation.”
The report showed that of the 40 MDAs captured, most of them did not fully get the amount appropriated to them in the budget, while some had releases that were more than appropriated to them.
However, some had releases but did not fully utilise them.
The Ministry of Finance which had an appropriation of N5.181 billion received N9.96 billion and cash backed, but utilised N5.593 billion, while Foreign and Inter-governmental Affairs had N10.29 billion appropriated but got and utilised N16.97 billion cash backed.
The Ministry of Communication Technology was appropriated N8.434 billion, had N9.624 billion released, cash backed and utilised, while the Ministry of Budget and National Planning was appropriated N4.092 billion, had N5.057 billion released, cash backed and utilised.
Some of the MDAs that did not fully utilise their releases are the Ministry of Education which was appropriated N56.81 billion, but had N33.424 billion released and cash backed but utilised N31.61 billion.
While the Ministry of Health was allocated N55.61 billion and receive N52.66 billion cash backed and utilised N48.85 billion, the Ministry of Trade and Investment, allocated N81.73 billion but received N39.15 cash backed and only utilised N16. 32 billion.
For Ministry of Power, N553.7 billion was appropriated, N336.57 billion was released and cash backed, while N269.5 billion was utilised, Ministry of Mines and Steel was allocated N12.46 billion, N7.127 billion was cash backed and released, while N5.66 billion was utilised.
The Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), which had the lowest utilisation was allocated N1.39 billion, had N697.4 million released and cash backed and utilised only N144.6 million.
The FRC report added that within the period under review, Federal Government’s budgetary resources were directed to priority structural reforms of the economy and the provision of critical infrastructure.
These included roads, power, housing, rail and aviation and the provision of physical and food security.
It added that this was in line with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, which was aimed at achieving sustained inclusive growth for the Nigerian economy.
It, however, said that the constraints experienced in the course of the implementation of the 2017 capital budget included late passage of the 2017 Appropriation Bill and extension of the implementation of the 2016 capital budget to May 2017.
Others were the shortfall in expected revenue and increased non-discretionary expenditures of government.
“Another constraint is the usual general releases of quarterly Capital Development Warrants and AIEs to MDAs that were not followed, instead, funds were released to MDAs in batches based on the availability of resources and government priorities.”
The FRC however, observed that the late passage of the budget and poor funding of projects had adverse effects on the performance of MDAs.
It also observed that projects were usually completed with payment delayed for more than the 60 days stipulated by the Procurement Act, adding that this trend resulted in accrual of interest until such payments were made.