Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, Minister of Budget and National Planning, says the 2019 budget prioritises spending on capital expenditure in favour of critical on-going infrastructure projects in the power, road, rail and agriculture sectors.
The minister, while answering questions at the public presentation of the 2019 budget highlights in Abuja, said that of the total appropriation of N9.12 trillion, N4.59 trillion had been spent by Sept. 30, against the expenditure target of N6.84 trillion.
This, he said, represents 67 per cent performance, adding that implementation of the 2018 capital budget would continue into 2019 until the 2019 budget is passed into law.
For her part, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said the Federal Government was working to ensure it pushes its releases for capital projects from the 2018 budget to N1.1 trillion by the end of Dec.
The Minister said that the N820 billion that was released was for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) capital.
She also said that there were releases to statutory transfer agencies released to them in bloc which include personnel, recurrent and capital.
“There are also capital releases that are done as part of the capital supplementation, and that is not part of the N820billion.
“The N820billion is 43 per cent of MDAs capital; we are working to push these releases to N1.1 trillion by the end of Dec. and that will include the statutory transfers’ service and the rest of the MDAs whose capital we are currently processing.”
President Muhammadu Buhari had unveiled a federal budget of N8.83 trillion for the 2019 fiscal year, N300 billion lower than the N9.1 billion being implemented for the current fiscal year.
The President, while presenting the 2019 Budget estimates to a joint session of the National Assembly said that in spite of the delay in the passage of the 2018 Budget, N820.57 billion had been released for capital projects as at Dec. 14.
According to him, N4.04trillion or 50.31 per cent is earmarked for recurrent expenditure and N2.03 trillion representing 22.98 per cent earmarked for capital projects.
Other estimates are N492.36 billion for statutory transfers, N2.14 trillion for debt servicing and provision of N120 billion as sinking fund.