The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday summoned the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, and her counterpart in the Ministry of Budget and Planning, Udoma Udo-Udoma, over delay in release of funds for projects in the 2017 budget.
In a motion sponsored by Gbenga Ashafa (Lagos East), the lawmakers bemoaned inadequate release of funds for the capital components of the budget.
The 2017 ‘Budget of Recovery and Growth’ has a total amount of N7.4 trillion (N7, 441, 175, 486, 758) with N2.2 trillion (2, 177, 866, 775, 864) for capital projects.
According to the budget office as published in the 2017 first quarter budget implementation report, no fund was released for capital projects due to extension of the 2016 budget implementation to May 5 this year.
The senate observed that the N310 billion so far released for capital projects by the federal government since the budget was assented to “is far too low to stimulate the economy to address our present economic challenges.”
Worried that the failure to release funds could plunge the country back to recession, the senate requested that the two ministers “appear before plenary immediately to brief the senate on the cause of the inadequate releases and steps being taken to expedite release of funds for capital components of the 2017 appropriation act.”
The Senate also directed its committee on Local and Foreign Debts to report to it information on pending loan requests from the executive to enable the legislature advise the executive properly.
The Nigerian Senate resumed legislative works on Tuesday after a two-month long recess.
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