"Insertion Of NASS Projects In 2018 Budget Will Hurt Economy”
"The projects inserted into the 2018 budget by the national assembly is not without its consequences. The projects are fragmented, difficult to track and will derail the Economic Growth and Recovery Plan."
This was include in statement issued by accountability platform, BudgIT on Tuesday.
The firm says the masking and insertion of several opaque items with little or no bearing on the economy by the National Assembly will have severe consequences on the growth plan by President Buhari.
A recent analysis of the budget showed that approximately 6, 529 new projects valued at 579.08 billion naira was inserted into the 2018 budget by the National Assembly.
According to BudgIT’s analysis, the 6,529 new projects entered into the budget, 90.6% or 5,918 items have a unit value below 200 million naira.
Also, the projects cannot be directly linked to the written, medium-term aspirations of the government as highlighted in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
More so, an analysis of the inserted projects shows that 63.64 billion naira or approximately 11% of the new projects added by the National Assembly will be spent on various training and capacity building programmes in 2018.
“Given that the budget will be largely funded by borrowings (as highlighted in the 2018 fiscal plan), it is disheartening to discover that most of the identified line items therein show a significant disconnect from the developmental goals of government, as stated in its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
“We are alarmed at the number of micro-projects added by the National Assembly that may not fall within the core scope of the Federal Government,” said BudgIT in a statement on Tuesday.
The statement also added that the “new projects inserted into the budget are fragmented, and budget line items are accompanied with vague descriptions that will prove difficult to monitor or track in physical and auditing terms”.
“It is equally essential for the National assembly to explain the rationale behind the increased allocations to itself as such cannot be justified given the abysmal distribution to the education and health sector, considering that National Assembly increased its budgetary allocation from 125 billion naira to 139.5 billion naira,” the statement added.
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