Friday, 15 July 2016

FG Expresses Optimism Over Revenue Projection as 55% was realised in first quarter cc @DrJoeAbah

Minister of Budget and Planning, Senator Udoma Udoma
The Minister of Budget and Planning, Senator Udoma Udoma, on Thursday, said 55 percent of the 2016 revenue projection had been achieved as at the first quarter of the year.

Udoma made the disclosure when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Appropriation to give a breakdown of 2016 budget implementation.

He said the releases cut across personnel, overhead and capital allocation to the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the government.

He said: “We are not achieving the targets set for revenue-generating agencies in the country.

“If we don’t get the revenue, we cannot meet the expenditure target.”

Udoma said N1.7 trillion was budgeted and N871 billion released as at April, and that is almost 50 percent release.

He added: “For overhead, N218 billion was budgeted and N52 billion was released, amounting to 25 percent release and this is because of the low performance of revenue generation.

“For capital, N1.5 trillion was budgeted and N235 billion was released, amounting to 15 percent release.

“The reason for the low level of capital releases is that right now because of the procurement procedure, no new project has reached the stage for capital release.

“Overall, for the first quarter, we are running at about 55 percent in terms of revenue expectations.”

The minister blamed the activities of the Niger Delta Avengers for the dwindling revenue generation.

Udoma said the activities of the group had adversely affected oil production, which was the major revenue generation source for the country.

He said: “We have not been able to realise the 2.2 million barrels per day that were projected in the 2016 Budget.

“Oil production at a point dropped to below one million barrel per day.”

Udoma also attributed the low revenue base to low revenue generation from revenue generating agencies like the Nigerian Customs Service and the Federal Inland Revenue Service.

Udoma expressed optimism that the overall revenue projection would improve before the end of the year with the recovery of oil revenue and increased revenue from the Nigeria Customs Service and the Federal Inland Revenue Service.

On the 2017 budget, the minister said it would be transmitted to the National Assembly in October.

Udoma stressed the need for an improved budgetary allocation for the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System to extend the programme to all agencies of government.

He said the extension would help to check ghost workers in the country.

On the Treasury Single Account, the minister said it was a good device to mop up money for the nation.

He, however, said the expectations of the device had not been realised, adding that there was a need for agencies to collaborate to make it effective. (Today)

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