The Federal Government (FG) has disclosed that 60% (N5.35 trillion) of the 2019 Budget would be rolled over to the 2020 Budget due to slow implementation.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, reportedly disclosed this on Thursday at his inaugural meeting with representatives of various departments and agencies of the ministry after his reappointment by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Partial implementation: According to a statement credited to Ngige, the 2019 Budget lacks aggressive implementation, and this means that 60% of the budget would be rolled into the 2020 Budget.
Ngige said, “The 2019 budget has not been aggressively executed and 60% of it will have to be rolled into the 2020 budget. We knew this during the presidential retreat that was organised for ministers-designate at the Presidential Villa.”
The 2020 Budget: Ngige added that all ministries had begun to prepare their 2020 budgets after the assurance from the National Assembly that if budget is submitted in September, it will be returned in December for implementation.
“We have been told to submit our budget to the National Assembly in September so that we can get it back by December. Senate President Ahmed Lawan is a man of his words that we can work with.
“There is budget padding because parastatals invited NASS members (during its planning) and this must stop henceforth. Any parastatal that does that will be sanctioned. We must live according to our means. Once the budget stays too long at the NASS, it will be difficult for the executive arm to execute it because it will suspect that the figures had been tampered with.”
The Bottomline: The slow budget approval and implementation which has characterised the current administration of President Buhari is a recurring decimal and this largely affects the economy.
Apparently, the change in the cycle of Nigeria’s annual budget has been a source of concern, as this largely affects national projects. Analysts have called for the reversal of the January to December budget.
Meanwhile, the President recently gave a directive to all ministries to submit their respective 2020 budgets in order to restart the January-December budget cycle to aid full implementation.