FG Prepares N6trn For 2017 Budget – Adeosun

2017 Budget
Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun

The Federal Government will forward the sum of N6,866,335,052,740 for the 2017 budget.

The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun disclosed this to members of the Senate Committee on Finance yesterday. She said this figure because government spends over N3trn on salaries, pensions and debt services. This leaves a paltry amount for capital projects.

The committee members led by its chairman, John Owan Enoh were on an oversight visit to her ministry.

Adeosun said government’s efforts at realising money from revenue generating agencies were being hampered by high-level corruption in agencies, especially the Nigerian Customs Service. She solicited the intervention of the National Assembly in curbing leakage.

“Salaries on their own are about N1.8 trillion to N1.9 trillion. And by the time you add the Judiciary, the National Assembly, pensions, and others, you are at N2 trillion. Add debt service, which is about N1.4 trillion. So, if you want to bring down the size of the budget, you won’t be able to do very many capital projects.”

“That’s the problem, and that has been the vicious circle that has been affecting Nigeria for so long. By the time we pay salaries, pay debts, nothing is left. So, I think for the next few years, we have to take a gamble, as a nation. We must take a gamble that if we fix our roads, fix power, can we generate more than that additional cost? I think we can.”

Committee Berates Minister On Leakages

In his address, Enoh said the visit was a collective decision of the Senate that all committees embark on oversight visits to all ministries, departments and agencies of government.”

“This is October. The Medium Term Expenditure Framework is already sent to the National Assembly for approval, so that the 2017 budget can come. We have a few revenue challenges; above all is the performance of the independent revenue of government. So, we think that the minister would take advantage of this meeting and bring us to speed on a few of these things.”

The committee berated the minister over what it described as poor handling of agencies under her watch, resulting in monumental leakage.

“There are a lot of drain pipes and leakages in the Customs. I don’t think the ministry, under your watch, has given sufficient attention to this.”

Adeosun admitted that the Nigerian Customs Service was financially bankrupt. She said her ministry was working with the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, to correct its financial fate.

“On the issue of Customs, we are working very closely with them. They have some challenges. The general contraption in the economy has really affected their level of input-forex scarcity and so on. They have some leakages. We are working with them to try and block these. Largely, all their scanners are not working, except the one in Idiroko.”

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *