Sen. Godswill Akpabio, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, said the ministry was yet to receive funds for Capital Expenditure in the 2019 budget.
Apkabio said this while defending the ministry’s 2020 budget before the House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta chaired by Rep. Essien Ayi (PDP-Cross River) on Tuesday.
The minister said that ₦35.2 billion was allocated for Capital Expenditure but no capital projects were awarded by the ministry due to non-release of funds.
“A total budget of ₦25,910,486,285.00 was allocated to the Ministry; Personnel (₦81,143,046,763.00), Overhead (₦877,089,123.00) and Capital (₦23,890,350,399.00) respectively.
“In 2019 the sum of ₦35.2 billion and ₦877 million were allocated to the Ministry for Capital and Overhead Expenditures respectively.
“Out of the Capital Appropriation of ₦35.2 billion, as at today, no funds have been received.
“However, the recent circular by the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning for the release of 40 per cent of the ministry’s Capital in the sum of ₦14.1 billion is being processed, while the sum of ₦365 million representing five months allocation for overhead, that is, ₦73 million monthly has been released as at date,” he said.
He also frowned at the reduction in the ministry’s 2020 capital allocation from ₦35.2 billion to ₦23.8 billion; an amount he said would not meet the basic needs of the people in the Niger Delta.
The minister exclaimed that the “gross inadequate funding” had led to a large number of abandoned, uncompleted and delayed projects and created a negative perception of the ministry to the people.
Akpabio urged the committee to assist in sourcing for ₦37.8 billion for the Mega Projects that would help to reduce the huge outstanding liabilities in the ministry.
He said funding the projects outside the ministry’s capital budgetary allocation would facilitate the actualisation of the ministry’s mandate substantially.