Written by Sarah NEGEDU

2018 budget: Defence suffers highest cut

In spite the alarming rate of insecurity in Nigeria and the calls to increase security budget to curb the trend, the National Assembly considerably slashed allocation to the defence sector in the 2018 appropriation.

At least 13 projects valued at N3.63billion were said to have been denied the ministry of defence in the 2018 budget.

An analysis of the budget document conducted by the Budget Office of the Federation showed that a total of 132 projects from 13 ministries were removed from the 2018 budget proposals submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The president had, while signing the 2018 budget last month, lamented the way it was tinkered with by the lawmakers.

Buhari at the time said, “The logic behind the constitutional direction that budgets should be proposed by the Executive is that it is the Executive that knows and defines its policies and projects.

“Unfortunately, that has not been given much regard in what has been sent to me.”

According to the document, total deductions on capital projects from the ministries were valued at N13.16billion, with the ministry of defence receiving the highest cut.

This was followed by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development with N2.1bn, while 22 and 14 projects worth N2billion and N1.3billion were removed from the ministries of Niger Delta and Communications, respectively.

Also, the Ministry of Water Resources had one project worth N1.2billion removed from the budget; the Ministry of Agriculture had three projects worth N225million removed; Budget and National Planning ministry had one project worth N45m removed; while 37 projects valued at N741.7million were removed from the budget of the Education ministry.

Others projects removed from the budget are that of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with 17 projects worth N412.7million; Health, with three projects valued at N262.2million; Information and Culture, with 16 projects worth N412.7million; Power, Works and Housing, N550million; and Ministry of Women Affairs, with one project worth N250million.

Recall that the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udo Udoma, had recently warned that the alterations in the capital component of the 2018 budget, could affect the timeline for execution and completion of capital projects across the country.

 

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