By Emma Ujah
The Federal Government is to spend an aggregate sum of N3.85 trillion on capital projects in the 2021 budget which represents N1.15 trillion higher than the 2020 provision of N2.69 trillion. At 29 percent of aggregate expenditure, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, said the government was now close to its policy target of 30 percent capital vote.
She disclosed that as at the end of last month, N1.2 trillion had been released for capital projects in the implementation of the 2020 budget. The thrust of the 2021 capital budget, she said, would be the completion of as many on-going projects, as possible, rather than the commencement of new ones.
The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing received the highest capital vote of N404.64 billion; followed by Finance, N382.63 billion; Transport N256.09 billion; Power, N198.28 billion; and Education, N197.41 billion.
Others included Health, N152.77 billion; Water Resources, N152.77; Defence N121.24 billion; Agriculture and Rural Development, N110.24 billion; and Aviation, N89.9 billion.
Federal government ministries with the highest recurrent budgetary allocations included Defence with N 840.56 billion; followed by Education, with N545. 1 billion; and Police Affairs, which received N441.39 billion.
Health was allocated N380. 21 billion; Interrior, N227. 02 billion; Sports N170. 63 billion; Office of the National Security Adviser, N134 .1 billion; Foreign Affairs N75. 6 billion Agriculture N 69. 22 billion; and the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation with 59.36 billion. On the revenue side, the minister said that several measures were being instituted to improve government income and entrench a regime of prudence with emphasis on achieving value for money.
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She said, “The goal of fiscal interventions will be to keep the economy active through carefully calibrated regulatory/policy measures designed to boost domestic value-addition, de-risk the enterprise environment, attract external investment and sources of funding. “Improving the tax administration framework to optimize government revenue is a major thrust of the Administration’s Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative (SRGI).”
In his remarks, the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba said that the administration had achieved the January-December budget cycle and would work hard to maintain same.
According to him, the budget had been prepared in such a manner to accommodate all geo-political zones and urged members of the public to collaborate with the federal government through a participatory process that would ensure effective implementation of the projects and programmes in the budget.