FG to ensure effective execution of 2018 budget – Udoma


Nigeria Minister udoma-udoma
Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma

Minister of Budget and Planning, Udo Udoma, has said in spite of the delay in signing the 2018 budget into law, the Federal Government is determined to ensure its effective execution.

Udoma stated this on Thursday in Abuja at the presentation of the approved 2018 Budget of Consolidation.

The record N9.12 trillion 2018 budget was signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday after it was raised from N8.61 trillion by the National Assembly.

Giving a breakdown of the allocations, Udoma said capital expenditure would gulp 31.5 per cent of the total expenditure at N2.87 trillion, adding that this was more than N2.36 trillion allocated in 2017.

Recurrent non-debt spending would rise from N2.99 trillion in 2017 to N3.51 trillion in 2018.

The minister said the Federal Government planned to spend N2.01 trillion on debt servicing (21 per cent of budget), adding that provision to retire maturing bond to local contractors increased by seven per cent from N177 billion in 2017 to N190 billion for the current fiscal year.

He said this was in view of the ambitious plan to liquidate all contractor debt arrears of the Federal Government going back several years.

Udoma said that the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing had the highest allocation with N715 billion for both recurrent and capital expenditure, Ministry of Interior would get N577 billion while Ministry of Defence was allocated N576 billion.

Ministry of Education was allocated N542 billion, Ministry of Health N356 billion, Ministry of Transportation, N267 billion and Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, N203 billion.

Others are Ministry of Water Resources, N155 billion, Office of the National Security Adviser, N123 billion, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, N118 billion, and Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, N116 billion.

He added that the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation was allocated N112 billion.

Udoma, while highlighting some of the projects to be carried out in the year, said infrastructure, security and human development were the focus of the government.

He said N530.8 million would be used in constructing the terminal building at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, and N8.32 billion used for the construction of the second runway of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

He said that while N162.28 billion was scheduled as counterpart funding for railway projects, N9.4 billion was set aside as counterpart fund for the Mambilla hydro-power project.

He said that N344 billion was allocated for the construction and rehabilitation of several roads nationwide and N26.7 billion allocated to National Housing Programme.

For health, he said N55.15 billion had been allocated to the implementation of the National Health Act, while N300 million had been set aside for health emergencies and contagious diseases outbreaks.

For agriculture, Udoma said over N25.1 billion was allocated for promotion and development of value chain across more than 30 different commodities to ensure food security,

He also said that N5.30 billion was allocated for National Grazing Reserve Development.

The minister said that procurement of ammunition of various types and calibers would cost N5.3 billion, while construction of new military barracks in five geopolitical zones would gulp N2.3 billion.

For mines and steel, he said N644 million would be used for the establishment of mining regulatory agency for the sector and N450 million used to reclaim abandoned mine sites.

For education, Udoma said the Universal Basic Education Commission was allocated N109 billion and N9.2 billion allocated for various scholarship allowances.

He added that N65 billion was allocated for re-integration of transformed ex-militants under the Presidential Amnesty Programme, while N45 billion was allocated for the Federal Initiative for North-East (Pilot counterpart funding contribution).

Udoma noted that the goal of the 2018 budget was to consolidate on the gains recorded so far by the administration and ensure that all Nigerians benefitted from the economic progress.

In his address, Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze, said the Federal Government would work with the National Assembly to ensure that the nation returned to the January to December budget cycle.

He expressed the hope that the 2018 budget would be the last to be signed in the middle of the budget year.