Reports from states across Nigeria have indicated poor budget performance indices following delay or even outright non-implementation of budgetary allocations across the various sectors of the economy. Hussaini Hammangabdo (Yola), Abu Nmodu, (Minna), Joshua Dada (OSOGBO), Tope Fayehun (Akure), George Okojie (Lagos), Matthias Nwogu Umuahia (Abia) Sam Egwu (Lokoja), write.
The situation, which stunted the economy of many states, has left many Nigerians at the mercies of poverty, hunger and deprivation as many family breadwinners find it exceedingly difficult to carry out even the basic responsibilities of feeding and caring for the families.
Some of these state governors, in an attempt to cover up their shortcomings, according to LEADERSHIP Friday’s investigations, have resorted to implementing only a small fraction of the budget in areas that can easily be seen by the electorates so as to justify their failure to undertake projects in other viable sectors of the economy.
In Adamawa State, delay in the implementation of the 2016 budget according to investigation by LEADERSHIP Friday has virtually crippled ministerial performance across many sectors in the state.
Adamawa State has budgeted over N120 billion which is the highest budget since the state was created about 25 years ago. The budget was in sharp contrasts with the previous years’ budgets as it nearly doubled each year’s budget in the preceding years.
While presenting the budget before the Adamawa State House of Assembly, the governor indicated that the audacious budget was articulated to enhance rapid socio-economic development of the state.
Similarly, Adamawa State commissioner for finance, Alhaji Mauhammadu Yunusa, during the break down of the budget last year said the budget was to provide enabling environment for poverty reduction with emphasis on food and job creation.
Some of the sectorial allocation to the frontline sectors include; N5.619 billion to the ministry of Health, N4.776 billion to the ministry of education, N1.606 billion to the ministry of agriculture and N20.240 billion to the ministry of works while subvention for boards and parastatals got a total of N19.499 billion.
Investigations similarly revealed that due to non-release of budgetary allocations for the first quarter of the year, skeletal services were rendered in most of the ministries in the state.
Our findings also revealed that no funds were allocated to any ministry for the first quarter of this year.
The ministry of Agriculture, which was allocated the sum of N1.606 billion naira, representing 1.34 percent of the budget, could not provide adequate fertilizer and farming inputs to farmers due to non-availability of funds.
Apart from the symbolic flag-off of sales of fertilizer by the state governor, Muhammad Umaru Jibrilla for this cropping season at N5, 500 per bag through Public Private Partnership with (GHAS) Integrated Services Limited and the Anchor Borrowers programme about a fortnight ago in Yola South local government area of the state, fertilizer still remains a mirage to many farmers in the state.
In an interview with LEADERSHIP Friday, commissioner for Agriculture, Waziri Hamma Ahmadu disclosed that there was a court order, stopping INDORAMA Company from supplying fertilizer to the state PPP partners and GHAS Integrated Service Limited, who are the major suppliers of fertilizer to the state government.
The court order and many more factors hampered the availability of fertilizer in the state, thereby forcing the ministry of Agriculture to go for option B back up plan which was to look for another partner, assuring that very soon fertilizer would be made available to farmers.
The ministry of Health was not left out of the financial constraints bedevilling the various sectors in the state despite the huge budgetary allocation to the ministry. A reliable source revealed that the ministry did not receive a kobo for the first quarter of the year which led to series of protests by the Health Workers’ Union across the 21 local councils of the state, demanding payment of two years’ salaries.
The health workers’ demonstration has led to the paralysis of health services like immunisation and anti-natal services across the state with pregnant mothers and patients left at the mercy of God.
Similarly, activities in the ministry of education were stymied as no amount was released to the ministry up till now, the ministry was marred by unpaid primary school teachers’ salaries for three months.
In the same vein, the issue of e-payment which was directed at weeding out ghost workers from the system could not also yield tangible results due to the failure of the government to implement budgetary allocations to the core in the sector.
Niger State Budget was not signed into law until the middle of May this year due to some delay in the passage of the budget submitted to the State House of Assembly in December 31, 2015, which invariably slowed down the implementation processes.
The governor submitted a budget of about N77 billion but the house of assembly passed a budget of N85.09 billion, an indication that the assembly increased the budget instead of the usual decrease in the budget submitted which was invariably passed on 7th April, 2016.
The budget is made up of recurrent expenditure of N 41.4 billion and capital budget of N 43.65 billion, the first time in several years that the capital budget will be more than the recurrent budget.
The commissioner of Planning and the deputy chairman of the state planning commission, Muhammad Nda, while giving the breakdown of the budget, stated that the main policy thrust of the budget was hinged around government code named AHEAWE which means Agriculture, Health, Education and Women (and children) Empowerment.
The focus therefore, is on wealth and job creation through Youth Empowerment Programmes, agricultural development through encouragement of Commercial Agricultural Enterprises and the Small and Subsistence farmers’ timely procurement and distribution of fertilizers at subsidised rates.
Others are construction, upgrading and rehabilitation of health facilities and services; completion of all on-going road projects and construction of new roads; completion of inherited abandoned water and electricity projects; renovation of schools, using the Whole-School Development Approach; improvement and enhancement of internal revenue generation.
While saying that the observance of due process in the application and utilisation of funds will be enhanced, the commissioner stated that exploration of development partners’ contribution to complement state efforts will be pursued.
The Agricultural sector got N4.651billion, Works and Transport received N4.547 billion; Investment and Commerce got N0.606 billion; Water Resources got, N2.532 billion; Land and Housing got N0.810 billion; Information, Tourism and Culture got N1.148 billion, while High Court of Justice/Sharia courts got N4.671 billion.
In the social sector, Education, Science and Technology were allocated the highest budget of N20.652 billion while Ministry of health got N9.345 billion.
LEADERSHIP Friday however gathered that in all the allocations, no budgetary release was made for the first quarter and the second quarter, hence the budget was passed in April and signed into law in May.
Findings revealed that apart from the recurrent aspect of the budget which includes the salaries, pensions and overhead costs, the budget has, in terms of capital releases performed below 50 percent, a situation that was attributed to short fall of allocations from the federation account as against the estimates.
The commissioner of Information and Culture, Mr Jothan Vatsa, stated that the delay in the passage of the budget had made the state to fast track implementation which is why there are about 53 projects going on at present in the state.
He, however acknowledged the fact that Niger State is feeling the financial recession like any other state in the federation, which in turn affects the implementation of budget but stated that the state is trying to adopt various measures to meet the desires of the people through holistic implementation of the budget.
Although it is obvious that Osun State is embarking on programmes and projects, it is yet difficult to assess the performance of her budget in the first half and second quarters of 2016.
Almost two years into the second term of Governor Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, he has not put in place a cabinet comprising of commissioners, advisers beside his kitchen cabinet.
This, no doubt, has hindered free flow of information on the running of government and this made it appear as if governance is shrouded in secrecy in the state.
The inability to present budget analysis by the commissioner for Finance and Budget to enable the public to know how funds are allocated to sectors and projects and be able to follow the execution of the projects has made it impossible to give an overview of the performance of the budget.
Our reporter in Ondo State has revealed that, the 2016 budget performance was a nix. The budget, which stands at N118.990 billion, has not achieved any significant objective due to the decline in the revenue from the federal government.
The governor had, during the presentation of the budget, said the budget is targeted at completing on-going projects that have reached advanced stage across the state, but as at the time of filing this report, nothing has been done on all the projects.
Investigation by our correspondent has revealed that the only achievement made by the state government so far is in the area of payment of two months salaries out of seven months spent in this year.
Lagos State 2016 budget was pegged at N662.588bn with the state government affirming that it was so budgeted to enable it focus on challenges of security, traffic gridlock resolution including physical and social infrastructural developments which have thrown up new challenges quite different from our past experiences across the state.
According to the Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, the overall 2016 budget performance of the state as at half year, was 70 percent, while total revenue that accrues to the state stands at 73 percent.
The governor said; “The overall budget performance as at half year was 70 percent which is an improvement over the corresponding period in 2015 when the performance stood at 63 percent. Revenue recorded 73 percent performance for the half year 2016 despite the challenging economic environment.”
“Your government spent a total of N115.624bn on capital projects during the half year 2016 leading to the capital/recurrent ratio of 50:50 with the plan to improve this ratio to 58:42 provided for in the 2016 Appropriation Law in the remaining half of the year.
On the N20 billion for the upgrade of the health sector across the state within the next six months of the year, Ambode explained, “We have commenced a comprehensive action to rehabilitate and upgrade the facilities in all our hospitals. Modern equipment will be procured to facilitate treatment and we will invest in capacity building of our medical staff.”
“We intend to spend over N10bn on our hospitals across the state before December this year. We will recruit and train medical professionals in areas of rare specialisation and special needs.”
The full implementation of the 2016 budget of Abia State is said to have been affected by the fall in the revenue profile of the federal government because of the fall of oil in the global market.
The budget estimate of N101.4 billion is made up of N59.2 billion recurrent and N42.1b capital outlay and christened budget of restoration through enterprise
The executive secretary/ permanent secretary, Chief Mrs Adanma Iheuwa said that the budget was predicated on oil price of 48 US dollars a barrel but within the period under review, it fell below 30 US dollars, and as state budget was mainly financed from the federation accounts, the fund available for the implementation of the budget fell grossly below expectation. According to her, the strict adherence to budgets may not be total as budgets, after presentation to the state House of Assembly and signing into law by the governor become flexible, depending on the availability of funds and in some cases there might be need for supplementary budget after due processes, including going through the budget committee and approval by the governor.
Ugoeze Iheuwa said 2016 budget expectations fell between 40 and 50 percent with the fall in federal allocation which reduced by about 60 percent. She pointed out that the state which was getting an average of six billion naira in previous ways, is now receiving something in the region of two billion naira.The budget under review estimated a receipt of N51.67 billion and an IGR of about N23.77 billion but this is a far cry from what has actually accrued to the state from the federation account.
She said the state has done well in the area of education and Transport infrastructure as the state has consistently maintained the lead in the education sector in the country.
According to her the worst problem of the state is in the area in the transport infrastructure as the federal roads in the state have constituted themselves into nightmares forcing the states to on t use their meagre resources to maintain them and urged the federal government to fully rehabilitate the rail systems to divert the heavy Haulages to the rail so that road the infrastructure might last after they have been fixed.. Abia as a gate way to the northern and south -south states bear the brunt of the collapsed federal roads The state had focused on what it called the Pillar Development approach to its developmental goal … The 2016 budget was expected to assist accept reject, remove or modify and on-going or new recurrent activity or investment project in the context of a programme’s objective. By doing this, we are placing high priority on improving the material circumstances of our people and we expect tol achieve our target of developing a strong enterprise support for building a virile economy through Public Private Partnership initiative.”
A breakdown of allocations to these priority areas of-
Agriculture: = N 1,900,000,000.
Health: N4889, 400,000.
Education: Under this pillar, government
made a budgetary
allocation of N4, 016,000,000.
Budgetary allocation = N1, 738,243,774.
Actual releases could not
be ascertained as the commissioner for
Finance, Hon Obinna Oriaku had
The 2016 budget presented by the governor to the members of the Kogi State House of Assembly, was prepared in line with the Charts of Accounts, (International Public Sector Accounting Standard).
The 2016 draft budget of N74, 996,241,381 is divided into recurrent expenditure of N45, 337,756,341, representing 60.45 percent and capital expenditure of N29, 658,485,040, representing 39.55 percent.
The sectorial breakdown of the 2016 budget showed that road development would gulp N7,617billion, Health Sector, N3,37billion, Education N2,365billion, Law and Justice N2,245billion, Water sector N2,133billion and Agriculture N1,189billion.
The recurrent revenue is estimated at N49, 474billion consisting of N7, 854billion from internal sources, N33, 700billion as state’s share from the federation account and N7, 920billion revenue from Value Added Tax.
The 2016 budget with an estimated revenue of N74,996,241,381 and estimated expenditure of N74,996,241,381 is a balanced budget of N74,996,241,381.
The objectives of the year 2016 budget as stated by the governor is predicated on effective allocation of scarce resources to identified critical programmes and projects which include completing all on-going projects and adding of new ones in the critical area of need.
The budget also seeks to expand internally generated revenue, ensure transparency and proper accountability, produce a conducive environment for investors, donor agencies to operate in the state and to reduce the level of domestic debt profile of the state.
The 2016 budget took into cognisance the fall in the international price of oil, oil theft, loss of the nation’s traditional oil buyers, new discovery of alternative sources of energy and high production output of crude oil by OPEC member countries forcing the price of oil downward.
2015, no doubt, was a challenging year for the state as the proposed monthly IGR target of one billion naira was not realised. Monthly IGR stood at between N500million and N600million. But in all of these challenges, the state still carried out some projects/programmes as highlighted below.
In the Health Sector, courses at the State College of Nursing and Midwifery, Obangede were re-accredited. Other projects executed in that sector are the completion and renovation of anti-natal family planning unit and mortuary Block at the Idah General Hospital. Construction of Diagonistic Centre Phase 11, Lokoja, Renovation of Zonal Hospital Dekina, Ankpa, Kabba and Cottage and General Hospitals in Ogodu, Ogori.
Other projects are the Emergency Intervention Fund for KSU Teaching Hospital, Anyigba as well as supply/installation of medical Radiological and Surgical Equipment at the Zonal Hospitals across the state.
Work is yet to start on the renovation of Plateau Hotel, Solomon Lar Amusement park, rehabilitation of Jos wildlife park and the over 20 chalets at Pandam tourist village despite being captured in the 2016 by the state government
The Plateau State commissioner for Finance, Mrs Tamwakat Weli, while giving a breakdown of the 2016 budget in Jos, the state capital said the state government is mindful of the fact that the first quarter of the year is gone, however the government is committed to its implementation despite the continuous drop in the revenue accrued to the state.
According to her the “change administration of Governor Simon Lalong has tagged this year’s budget as Budget of Rescue and Hope aimed at salvaging the people of Plateau from deprivation, insecurity, and poverty.”
“The focus of the budget is on the completion of inherited on-going projects which could not be completed in 2015 due to the sharp decrease in revenue accrued to the state and the huge debt burden.”
She said the budget has a size of 146,696,185,118.00 only.
“The sum of 73,371,074,960.00 is being earmarked for capital projects and programmes in the 2016 fiscal year, this represents 50.2 percent of the total budget. We shall also commence some crucial projects with special focus on projects in the Education, Health, Works, Water Supply and Sanitation.”
Weli also said “the present administration is fully committed to the provision of qualitative and functional education to its citizens “.
“The Agricultural sub sector is receiving a boost in this year’s budget with the state government allocating the sum of N 3,321, 983, 000. 00 to this sub sector. Of this amount, 1, 500, 00, 000 .00 is allocated for the state to provide subsidy on fertiliser. A data base of farmers in the state will be created for effective planning and distribution of inputs to targeted registered farmers.”
“The objective of this exercise is to document and maintain a comprehensive record of farmers in the state, also the Plateau Agricultural Development Programme will be resuscitated in order to regain its lost glory “.
Weli pointed out that the tourism sector is in dire need of revitalisation to serve as a major source of revenue earnings for the state and the sum of N 1,125, 000, 000. 00 was earmarked in 2016 for the renovation of Plateau Hotel, Solomon Lar Amusement park and rehabilitation of Jos Wildlife Park, 20 chalets at Pandam Tourist village.
“For us to be able to complete these programmes and initiate new ones, we will require the patience and understanding of the citizens of the state, in the face of dwindling resources.”
“The Lalong administration remains committed to ensuring proper accountability, transparency, due process and good governance”, she further added
The commissioner, in an interview with our correspondent, further said that he state government has met the criteria to access a federal government loan tagged ‘Federal Guaranteed Conditional Budget Support Loan’.
Weli stated that the support facility will be used by the Lalong administration to better navigate present economic challenges facing the state and to re position the state to meet its obligations to Civil Servants and other stakeholders.
She explained that the said sum of 14,160,000,000.00, will be disbursed to the state in three tranches of N1, 390, 000, 000, 00, only for three consecutive months, stating that the balance will be disbursed over a period of Nine months in equal amount of N1, 110,000,000.00, respectively.
Her words, “the interest rate for this facility is nine percent for a tenure of 10 years and with one year moratorium before repayment begins. Repayment is secured by future allocation and refunds due to Plateau State from the federal government”, she said.
LEADERSHIP Friday recalls that the State House of Assembly under the leadership of the Speaker, Rt. Hon Peter Azi recently gave the approval to access the said loan.
Although the approval was be clouded with mixed feelings of members of the House, drawing the attention of the House to the fact that the state government is already owing the federal government N15 Billion Naira. So, the wisdom of collecting N14 Billion extra loan from the same federal government was not right. They stated.
Investigation by our correspondent revealed that at the moment work is yet to commence on the renovation of Plateau Hotel, Solomon Lar Amusement park, rehabilitation of Jos Wildlife Park and 20 chalets at Pandam tourist village as was captured in the 2016.
But the state commissioner for tourism culture and hospitality, Mr. Mwankon Peter James told our correspondent that the state has signed MoU with a Chinese company with the view to rehabilitate the wild life park. He added that very soon, they will return with their technical partner to commence work.
In the same vein, work on the Jos dual carriage way, which was started by the immediate past administration of Jonah Jang is going on in a slow pace despite the hardship being faced by commuters using the road.
Investigation by our correspondent further revealed that the state government had earlier flagged off the distribution of fertilizers to farmers at a subsidised rate of four thousand Naira but now, the commodity is only seen at the black market, selling close to N10,000 per bag as alleged fertilizer racketeering by party members has rocked the smooth exercise in the state.