I can’t really say that there has been much impact of the N1.3trillion. If there is any impact of this money, it will be very little for now. What has been happening is that money is budgeted, but because of the late releases, they are returned back to the Federation Account at the end of the financial year. The late release of capital allocations does not allow the execution of many projects to be done at the right time. In this way, there will hardly be any positive impact on the economy. The solution is for the Executive to release capital allocations on time for procurement processes to start early. Look at the 2017 budget, they were just advertising the projects in August. This will take the next two to three months. The question is when will the project itself start? How far will they go before we come to the end of the year or make any serious impact on the lives of Nigerians? Let the government lay emphasis on prompt release of capital allocations. If that is done, there will be great impact on the people. It will take care of the problem of abandoned projects that litter our landscape. With late release of funds, I don’t think the desired results have been achieved. It may be on record that the government spent N1.3tn on projects, but was the money actually released or it has been rolled over? There are many issues to look at to come to a safe conclusion on the impact of the capital vote for 2016.
No, they are all professional liars. It was said that the N1.3trillion they spent was the highest in Nigeria’s history but forgot to state that almost half of the payment was repayment of debts owed to contractors from previous years. Such amount of money is spent and citizens are still getting poorer. The investment claimed by the government in agriculture is a mess. The rural farmers produce crops which are brought to the urban areas but due to bad roads they are expensive because of the troubles they go through bringing the edibles.
The impact is low compared to the huge amount of money said to have been released for capital projects in 2016. The money (N1.3tn) was about 82 per cent of the total capital vote for the fiscal year (N1.58tn). Although, there were evidence of emergency repair works on some failed roads. A lot still needs to be done for the impact to be felt by the people. One of the roads that benefited from the repairs was the Ilorin-Jebba-Mokwa Road which I know of but can’t mention others. The government are meant to release funds to the appropriate allocations so work will commence before another year.
The supposed spending of N1.3tn on capital projects by the Federal Government in 2016 has not really done much in positively affecting the lives of Nigerians. In any case, which of these projects were identified as having been completed and where are they located? The truth of the matter is that the amount claimed to have been spent is a far cry from what is needed to make an impact on a vast nation such as ours. More money and effective utilisation of such funds still have to be committed to achieving the kind of impact that Nigerians are yearning for. The Lagos/Ibadan Expressway, the East/West road projects, the second Niger Bridge, the rebuilding of the entire North-East infrastructure, the implementation of the cleaning up of Ogoniland, the North/West rail project and some other projects that have been identified by the various stakeholders are projects that can be useful when funds are properly released and utilised on them. Some of these projects cut across many states and are going to benefit all Nigerians. That amount is not even enough to address the needs of the North-East alone, giving the level of destruction of public infrastructure and facilities in that region, not to talk of other regions and their countless of needs. I feel our government should therefore budget and release funds for these projects on time and effectively supervise their timely completion.
When assessing the impact of the N1.3trillion capital expenditure, we have to appreciate certain things. This money was spent across the federation. So, we are not talking about money put into a particular project in one state. It was for major capital projects like roads, railways, bridges and power projects in identified locations across the country. For example, the government invested much in agriculture in 2016 in pursuit of the policy of diversifying the economy from depending heavily on crude oil. The impact can be felt in the area of rice production, where Nigeria is doing well as we speak. In agriculture, we have had enough yam production since 2016 to the point that we now export the crop. In food production, we can see the impact of the money. For railways, Kaduna is now working and the line from Ajaokuta in Kogi State to Warri in Delta State is in progress to be opened in June 2018. While ordinary Nigerians may complain that the money has not impacted on their lives, we can see that major projects are going on, which will ultimately affect them positively.
It is good to hear that the government said it pumped so much running into trillions into capital projects in one year, which is an improvement in the way we implemented past budgets. In the research I made, I found out thatbudget execution should not deviate from the approved budget by more than three per cent.Meaning at least 97 per cent rate of budget implementation is considered acceptable. But, most of what we have as budget implementation performance in Nigeria over the years is actually less than 30 per cent, which does not portray us as serious, particularly at a period when the revenue flow was high. If our capital budgets had been fully implemented over the last two decades, the level of infrastructure decay we are facing today would not have been this.The role of federal budget in national development in a country like Nigeria, where the private sector remains weak, is very important. As a key fiscal governance tool, budget has a far-reaching role in helping to stimulating economic growth and reduces economic disparities and social inequalities.If carefully formulated and effectively implemented.It can also lead to the achievement of many of our development objectives such as food security, higher life expectancy, education for all, low poverty rate, etc. As such, the budget is an important tool that affects everybody’s life directly or indirectly..
The government should have specified the sectors where it spent N1.3tn on capital projects. Basically, to boost an economy during recession, more money should be spent on public works, which is infrastructure. With that, you can create employment and the expenditure will have a multiplier effect on the economy. Those who take up jobs will have salaries that will be spent in the market while manufacturers will keep producing goods and offer services. In the power sector for instance, there has been some improvement compared with what it was three years back. Maybe, it is because it is no longer entirely under government control. On funds injected into road construction, for instance the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, which is one of the most visible ongoing projects. The effect of completing the Lagos-Ibadan road will be a reduction in the time wasted on the road and fewer accidents. One of the major problems of this country is the monolithic economy that is almost completely dependent on oil. Every Nigerian should go back to the farm in order to diversify the economy.
The impact is not been felt at all. Is it on completed or uncompleted projects? I am yet to see any changes. Most especially our roads are bad which should be the number one on the project list. I thought this government met no money, so how come that much was spent. If we are talking about agriculture, a lot has not been done in that sector because what is produced is not even enough for the citizens which the government need to put their act right. One thing I also want to point out is that government should ensure that budget for each year should be well spent judiciously for the plan of that year and not rolled back into the following year because doing that causes setbacks for the project of that year.
The Federal Government should explain how the money was spent because we citizens of the country are not feeling the impact. The roads are clearly the most important in Nigeria and still we have so many bad roads which are causing accidents. Also, infrastructures are nothing to write home about. For me, no impact is felt at all. All of 2016 project is still brought back to 2017 project. Our government say so much but no action on works at all.
I would say yes because some roads are now in good shape. Our railways are also working fine now. Though the government need to make the budget allocated for each year to be sent out on time to allow projects commence at the appropriate time. When funds are sent out as at when due that is when proper implementation is done.
Copyright Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.