By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA—THE Senate, yesterday, berated the poor performance of independent revenue generation in the 2016 budget, which caused receipt of only N393 billion, against the projected sum of N1.506 trillion.
To this end, the Red Chamber observed that since the economic indices that led to the development were still available, there was no need for government to either maintain or raise the amount in the 2017 budget.
The position of the Senate was conveyed through the Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, John Owan Enoh, when the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun; Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed and Director-General, Budget Office, Mr Ben Akabueze, appeared before his committee not only to defend the proposal for the 2017 independent revenue but also to review the performance of this aspect of the budget in the last fiscal year.
Enoh, who was angry that of a whopping projected sum of N1.506 trillion, only a negligible N393 billion was realized, advised government to review the class of the budget downward since the bandied figure, according to him, is u
But the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, defended the amount in the 2017 fiscal year, disclosing that certain indices hampered the independent revenue generation in the previous year.
“The fact that we were expected to get N1.5 trillion and ended up getting N393 billion needs self-examination to determine whether that kind of budget is a workable budget or not.”
Speaking also, the Director General, Budget Office, Ben Akabueze, explained that the Federal Government’s 2017 independent revenue was being reduced from the highly optimistic level of N1,505.88 billion to an earlier figure of N1,207.57 billion.
He said it was later revised downward to N807.57 billion, reflecting poor level of collection and remittance of independent revenue by Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, and government-owned enterprises.