Requests N5.6b for meetings, N28m for public relations
BudgiT called on the National Assembly to eliminate corruption offenses and loopholes in the 2022 approved budget, disapproving of the alleged insertion of 6,576 capital projects in the 2022 budget without following due process.
The civic tech organization leading advocacy for fiscal transparency and accountability in Nigeria also denounced the N5.6 billion allocated for meetings and the N28 million for quarterly interaction with foreign media/relations lobby public.
He called for an urgent amendment on the affected sections.
In a statement in Abuja yesterday, BudgiT Acting Head, Media and Communications, Iyanu Fatoba, lamented that the insertion of 6,576 projects, which bloated the budgets of various federal ministries, led to breach of safeguards budget ceiling announced by the Federation Budget Office on August 19, 2021.
According to Fatoba, BudgiT is also concerned about the time frame in which the 6,576 investment projects were generated and inserted into the FG budget by lawmakers.
She said BudgIT has valid concerns about whether the project design documents (PDDs) were created in accordance with the public investment guidelines of the 2022 budget, saying that a poorly designed and costed public sector project is almost doomed to fail, ab initio, and leads to poor results. value for taxpayers money.
“The federal government’s selective opacity in its budget transparency is also concerning with respect to some agencies that have been indicted for fraud.
To highlight, while the budgets of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigeria Customs Service (NCD), Galaxy Backbone, among others, were totally absent from the approved budget for 2022, the one Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) – although included in the approved 2022 budget, does not have a capital expenditure breakdown.
“The National Assembly must demonstrate a stronger commitment to publishing, verifying and evaluating the budget proposal from the executive and its agencies, in particular using comments from the country’s auditor general to assess allocations. to agencies involved in embezzlement, extrabudgetary allocations and other forms of corruption in previous years.
On capital budget padding, BudgIT Country Director Gabriel Okeowo said, “Several projects do not meet the definition of capital expenditure, according to the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
“For example, 5.6 billion naira allocated for over 150 meetings has been listed as capital expenditure in various Ministry Departments and Agencies (MDAs). Another case is the 28 million naira allocated to the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture headquarters for quarterly PR/foreign media lobby interaction in its capital budget.