By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
ABUJA— The Service Wide Vote, which rose to N198.7 billion in the 2018 budget, is not only for unforeseen expenditures, Director-General of Budget, Mr. Ben Akabueze, has said.
Fielding questions from journalists and Civil Society Organisations on the 2018 budget in Abuja, yesterday, Akabueze said the vote contained other expenditures that were not agency-specific and armed forces operations, which figures had not yet been determined.
He said: “Service Wide Vote is not only for unforeseen provisions. Yes Service Wide vote is for contingency provisions, which amounts are not fully determined but there are also certain items of expenditure that are not agency –specific, that are service-wide. It is then thought that it is important to manage access to such votes centrally.
“There are also some items of expenditure requiring further scrutiny at the time of actual expenditure and approvals at certain levels which are, therefore, intentionally put under service-wide vote.
“So under Service Wide Vote, for instance, you have provisions for armed forces operations. Those operations, they have to get specific approval of the Commander-in-Chief at the time of carrying them out before they are funded.”
Akabueze explained further that all of the service-wide votes in the budget were classified as under the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.