An insight into the 2011 budget was revealed by the minister of finance Mr. Olusegun Aganga days before the budget was sent to the National Assembly. The minister had disclosed that the 2011 budget will be performance based.
According to Aganga, every ministry will be asked to identify their most pressing capital projects and when a cost has been assigned to the project, those responsible particularly contractors will tell government when they will deliver the projects and at what specifications.
The finance minister noted that the days of contractors’ just collecting money and not delivering according to the terms of the contract agreement was gone as government will monitor the implementation of the budget (capital projects) at every stage.
He said, the decision to make the 2011 budget performance based was taken “to manage our resources more efficiently and to allocate capital to where it will be used more effectively”.
Areas that require critical infrastructure, the minister said, “Nigeria will leverage its balance sheet as efficiently as possible through the provision of sovereign guarantees” and already government he added was putting structures in place to manage the risks to the nation’s balance sheet and the additional impact of these contingent liabilities”.
In order to strengthen the institutional environment, the finance minister noted that the country needed to increase its capability to deliver infrastructure. He decried the situation where the government has capital to spend on projects, but has not always excelled at utilizing it.
The average capacity utilization within Nigeria he said is about 60%, which means that the country “must find ways to develop capital more efficiently and also look for ways to drive down the cost of capital projects through proper project management”. Last week president Goodluck Jonathan presented a N4.2 trillion budget to the National Assembly and of this amount the government proposed to spent N78.6 billion on ex militants of the Niger Delta region to feed, reintegrate and pay the militants stipends.
The Niger Delta ministry is expected in 2011 to spend N3.2 billion, (the ministry will spend N53,400,001,680 on capital projects in 2011), Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) from statutory transfers will spend N46, 786,520,628, but the presidential amnesty programme designed to rehabilitate militants from the region may walk away with N78,694,571,902 if the budget is left as proposed by the executive.
Another body that received a large allocation from the 2011 budget is the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) for whom a whooping N105.2 billion was earmarked.
Under the recurrent (non-debt) expenditure category of the 2011 budget, for ministries, departments and agencies, the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) is expected to spend N50,860,044,639 for the year. This is not counting the N54,380,603,628 that has been set aside as capital expenditure for the office in the year.
Reacting to the budget, (before the budget details was made public by the media) ActionAid Nigeria, an anti-poverty agency expressed concern over the 2011 budget proposal. Dr. Hussaini Abdu, the Country Director of ActionAid Nigeria, in a preliminary comment by the organisation on the president’s speech stated that “with an alarming unemployment rate in the Country, it is surprising that government is anticipating spending as much as 62.6 % on recurrent expenditure and only 23% on capital.”
This he says, “does not tally with the expressed principle of the 2011 budget in which government stated its commitment to an inclusive economic growth and employment generation”.
Though he applauded the federal government’s determination to tackle unemployment in the country, Abdu however, expressed concern over the President’s stated intention of creating a National job Creation Scheme.
According to Abdu, “the sincerity of purpose in the present posture and request of seed funding of 50 billion for job creation is unclear, as at now, it does not look sustainable and is likely to create another avenue for the looting of tax payers’ money and politicisation of the scheme,” he said.
The Nigeria head of the international NGO then called on the National Assembly to put that amount into infrastructure, education, health and agriculture which he said are capable of absorbing the teeming unemployed populace.
Another interesting feature of the 2011 budget is the pension and gratuity entry. In 2011 government does not plan to pay for any gratuity as a result there is no figure earmarked for gratuity whereas in 2010, N6,660,000,000 was dedicated to paying for gratuities.
But for pensions, while the office of the head of the civil service that handles civilian pensions received N42,460,000,000 from 2010 budget, for next year, the office will spend a total of N23,150,000,000. This is broken down as pensions N22,500,000,000; pension running cost including verification exercise in 2011 N400,000,000 and reimbursement to states N250,000,000.
In the case of the ministries, some of them will have it rough in 2011. In 2010, the allocation to the ministry of agriculture, rural development and water resources was N149,900,754,219 but in 2011 (the ministry has been split in two to agriculture and rural development and water resources) their combined budgetary allocation is just N54, 218, 283,281 so a total of N95, 682,470,938 was shaved off a ministry with very critical role to play in creating jobs and also boosting the nation’s GDP.
Another ministry with the potential for opening the door to more employment is the ministry of works. This administration had boasted in recent times that it plans to boost employment in the labour intensive construction industry, but the parent ministry that may drive that plan lost over N67 billion from its 2011 budgetary proposal.
Just like the ministry of agriculture, the ministry of works has been split into works on one hand and land and housing on another. In 2011 the combination of the two ministries will spend N153,949,222,665 whereas in 2010 N211,231,781,556 was set aside for them so the ministries will lose N67,282,558,891.
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) also suffered a big slash from its 2011 budget. In 2010 N138,360,000,000 was allocated to it but in 2011 only N44,183,583,306 has been voted for it, thus N84,176,416,694 denied it.
However when the full details of the 2011 budget was received by the media it was revealed that all those around the state house will have a feeding frenzy if the 2011 budget is passed as proposed. The Nation authoritatively reported that the state house has proposed to spend over N500 million on food stuff and catering supplies in the 2011 budget. That is roughly about N1, 369, 863.01 a day on food and catering for the Vice President alone. The budget was silent on how much the president will spend of feeding in the year.
Details of the 2011 budget also showed that the state house (residences and offices of the president and vice president) was allocated N21, 159,867,112 for the year. With this amount, N1,570,107,112 will cover salaries and wages while allowances and social contributions will be serviced with N640,386,203. That is where the mundane spending ends.
In 2011, the office of the vice president, has been detailed to spend on overhead N8,395,543,797 broken down as travel and transport-general N2,014,658,355; utilities N263,514,587; materials and supplies N1,614,315,741; maintenance services N2,847,709,086; training N338,045,242; consultancy and professional services N85,747,680; fuel and lubricants N197,700,000; miscellaneous N1,033,853,106 and loans and advances N53,830,000. All these make up the proposed recurrent expenses for 2011 for the vice president. N54 million will also be spent on plant/generator fuel in 2011.
Another interesting expense entry in the vice president’s vote for 2011 is the amount detailed for food stuff/catering material supplies. From the budget details N574, 074,750 will be spent on food stuff and catering materials; N312,400,000 will be spent on refreshments and meals; N86,422,720 is earmarked for honorarium and sitting allowances and another N383,408,436 is proposed to be spent on welfare packages.
Under the proposed capital vote of the vice president, over N3 billion is set aside for the purchase of fixed assets. For the fixed assets, N30 million will be spent on the purchase of office furniture and fittings; over N428 million is voted for the purchase of computers; another N553,594,442 is voted for the purchase of canteen/kitchen equipment (N403,594,442 is for the purchase of kitchen and household equipment and another N150,000,000 is for the purchase of household equipment and materials for the Vice president’s residence); N1,128,640,000 for the purchase of residential furniture and N21,875,000 for the purchase of recreational facilities.
For the construction and provision of fixed assets in the state house over
N4billion was proposed and of this amount N1,170,000,000 will be used for the construction/provision of residential buildings; N861,000,000 for the construction/provision of electricity (in the state house) N545,000,000 for the construction/provision of infrastructure and another N184,000,000 for the construction/provision of recreational facilities.
For the library in the state house, there is a plan to purchase one library scanner at N24 million, the purchase of utility and operational vehicles for the office of the vice president will cost N300 million while the furnishing of the vice president’s guest house at Asokoro will gulp N100 million. Another interesting entry in budget breakdown is that N400 million will be spent on the acquisition, upgrading and furnishing of the vice president’s guest house at Aguda.
If the figures viewed from the 2011 budget details stay unchanged, people living with HIV/AIDS will have a tough time getting drugs to fight their ailment. This is because as the Presidency and the Office of the Secretary to The Government of the Federation (SGF) have proposed to spend N7.9 billion on utilities (payment for water, electricity telephone sewage and satellite broadcasting charges); and fuelling of motor vehicles and other transport equipment and generators, nothing was voted for the purchase of HIV/AIDS drugs for the National Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS (NACA).
The Nation stumbled on this discovery in the details of the 2011 budget proposal for the Presidency and the Office of the secretary to the Government of the federation (SGF) under whose domain NACA resides. Under the Presidency, bodies like the State House will spend N263,514,587 on utilities and N197,000,000 on fuelling vehicles and generators, National Boundary Commission N10,843,885 for utilities and N2,779,277 for fuelling while the SGF alone plans to spend N213,294,137 on utilities and N41,414,292 for fuelling.
Another interesting entry under the presidency/SGF 2011 budget details is the 26 member presidential advisory committee that will spend N22,382,514 in the year. Nothing is detailed for personnel cost yet its total allocation is over N22 million. The number of times members meet and advise the president was not stated in the budget proposal.
Between the Presidency and the SGF this is what they and their parastatals will spend on utilities and fuelling of vehicles and generators in 2011.
With over N20 billion to spend in 2011 fiscal year, the federal ministry of Lands and Housing will construct six new federal secretariats in six states of the federation as well as complete the construction of the mausoleum for late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Owelle of Onitsha.
According to details gathered from the 2011 budget breakdown available to The Nation, the federal government through the ministry of lands and housing will spend N1,404,368,174 on the “construction of 6NO federal secretariats in Bayelsa, Gombe, Anambra, Zamfara Nassarawa and Osun States.
As part of government’s mass housing initiative in 2011, the federal government has proposed to establish 150 fully serviced residential plots per site in each state of the federation and FCT at a total cost of N7,670,010,794 as follows:
Abia (N380 million) Anambra(N380 million) Bauchi (N380 million) Bayelsa (N440 million) Benue (N380 million) Borno (N380 million) C/River (N380 million) Delta
(N420 million) Ebonyi (N380 million) Edo (N380 million) Ekiti (N380 million)
Enugu (N380 million) Gombe (N380 million) Imo (N380 million) Jigawa (N380 million) Kaduna (N380 million) Kano (N380 million) Katsina (N380million) Kebbi (N380 million) Kogi (N380 million) Niger (N380 million) Ogun (N380 million) Ondo (N380 million) Osun (N380 million) Oyo (N380 million) Plateau (N380million) Rivers (N420 million) Sokoto (N380 million) Taraba (N380 million) Yobe (N380 million) Zamfara (N380 million) and the FCT (N380 million).
Other expenses that the federal government will engage in 2011 from the proposed budget include the purchase of security equipment such as CCTV, security doors walkie-talkies etc for the ministry of lands and housing’s common services department at a cost of N21,605,664; procurement of cadastral equipment at N24,306,372 and purchase of procurement equipment and ICT based systems at a cost of N27,007,080.
Also, if the 2011 budget is passed by the National Assembly as proposed by the president, N35,208,294,940 will be spent by 78 ministries, departments and agencies (MDA) of the federal government on travels, transport and training alone.
Documents available to The Nation showed that entries are made for local travel and transportation: training (LTTT); local travel and transport: others (LTTO); international travel and transport: training (ITTT); international travel and transport: others (ITTO); local training (LT) and international training (IT).
Attempts by The Nation to get officials of the budget office to shed more light on these entries and others met with a stone wall.
The biggest spenders on the three Ts in 2011 will be the State House with N2,352,703,597; police formations and command N2,522,732,184; Auditor General of the Federation, N400,421,574; Federal ministry of education HQ N482,653,238;
Nigerian Prison Service N484, 402,586; Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps N1,413,879,252;.
Other big triple T spenders are federal ministry of foreign affairs N2,707,671,578; federal ministry of finance N924,299,305; Account general of the federation N453,919,198; EFCC N660,368,734; Head of Service of the Federation N634,353,173 the armed forces combined with the ministry of defence will spend over N7 billion in the 2011 fiscal year.
With so much money to spend on “interesting expenses” the federal government once again through the minister of finance declared to the world that it can no longer finance infrastructure development alone from the annual budget.
The minister pointed out that Nigeria’s total public debts as it stands today is sustainable.
In the last couple of weeks however, ministries and agencies of government have been appearing before relevant committees of the National Assembly to “defend” their 2011 budget and as expected many of them were unhappy that their budgets were slashed.
During one of the budget defences Hon. Jerry Manwe chairman House of Representatives Committee on Interior deferred most of the major aspects of the budget of the Ministry of \interior till the following week because of inconsistencies in the figures.
During a budget performance/defence session before the House committee at the National Assembly yesterday, the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Jerry Manwe said the