FG Admits Poor Budget Performance
The Federal Government yesterday admitted that the nation's economy is ailing and confirmed that the 2009 budget was poorly implemented in the first quarter of the year.
Briefing newsmen after yesterday's Federal Executive Council meeting, the Minister of Information and Communications, Professor Dora Akunyili said the Ministry of Finance reviewed the economy in the first quarter and concluded that the economy was challenged.
She said the Ministry of Finance explained that only 21% budget performance was achieved based on utilization of the funds released to ministries and MDAs during the first quarter. She said the finance ministry expressed optimism that the release of funds in the second and third quarters would ensure better budget performance.
She however said the nation's GDP performance put at 4.85% by the finance ministry was better than those of many emerging economies.
According to her, the finance ministry blamed the low performance of the 2009 budget on lack of understanding of relevant regulations by MDAs, delays in processing payments by MDAs, lack of effective planning and procurement by MDAs.
Akuyili said yesterday's meeting was devoted to the assessments of the performances of five ministries including finance, agriculture and water resources, national planning, transportation, and Niger Delta Affairs.
She said the level of implementation recorded in the various projects being undertaken by the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources ranged between 10 and 92 per cent respectively. She said N46.687billion has so far been released to the ministry out of the N138.928billion appropriated for it in the 2009 Budget.
On the performance of the Niger Delta Affairs ministry, she said “the issue of insecurity and inadequate budgetary provision coupled with delayed released of funds have been impacting on the implementation of various projects in this ministry”.
Akunyili however said “provision of adequate security which the government is handling, timely release of approved funds and others will enable the ministry deliver on its mandate”.
Explaining the details of the current projects been executed by the ministry, the minister said the Niger Delta Ministry has a total of 27 capital projects with a total budgetary allocation of N48 billion and out of these, six are ongoing projects with a budgetary provision of N28 billion.| Article source