Buhari shocked, worried over changes in 2022 Budget

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his displeasure with the national assembly's "worrisome revisions" to the executive budget for 2022.

On Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the N17.13 trillion spending bill for 2022 into law.

The presidency had presented the national assembly with a proposal totaling N16.391 trillion. The budget was later boosted to N17.127 trillion by parliament.

Buhari
Buhari

Buhari stated in his remarks after approving the budget that lawmakers cut funding for some projects but added 6,576 new projects to the budget for 2022.

‘‘It is in this regard that I must express my reservations about many of the changes that the National Assembly has made to the 2022 Executive Budget proposal,” he said.

‘‘Some of the worrisome changes are as follows:

‘‘Increase in projected FGN Independent Revenue by N400 billion, the justification for which is yet to be provided to the Executive;

‘Reduction in the provision for Sinking Fund to Retire Maturing Bonds by N22 billion without any explanation;

‘‘Reduction of the provisions for the Non-Regular Allowances of the Nigerian Police Force and the Nigerian Navy by N15 billion and N5 billion respectively.

‘‘This is particularly worrisome because personnel cost provisions are based on agencies’ nominal roll and approved salaries/allowances;

‘‘Furthermore, an increase of N21.72 billion in the Overhead budgets of some MDAs, while the sum of N1.96 billion was cut from the provision for some MDAs without apparent justification;

‘‘Increase in the provision for Capital spending (excluding Capital share in Statutory Transfer) by a net amount of N575.63 billion, from N4.89 trillion to N5.47 trillion.’’

Mr President was not also happy over reductions in some expenditures such as N12.6 billion in the ministry of transport’s budget for the ongoing rail modernisation projects.

Others include N25.8 billion from the power sector reform programme under the ministry of finance, budget and national planning; N14.5 billion from several projects of the ministry of agriculture, and introducing over 1,500 new projects into the budgets of this ministry and its agencies.

Buhari stated that despite the shocking reductions or outright removals, the National Assembly went ahead to include new provisions totalling N36.59 billion for National Assembly’s projects in the Service Wide Vote which according to him, negates the principles of separation of powers and financial autonomy of the legislative arm of government.

"Provisions made for as many as 10,733 projects were reduced while 6,576 new projects were introduced into the budget by the National Assembly.

‘‘Reduction in the provisions for many strategic capital projects to introduce ‘Empowerment’ projects.

‘‘The cuts in the provisions for several of these projects by the National Assembly may render the projects unimplementable or set back their completion, especially some of this Administration’s strategic capital projects.

‘‘Most of the projects inserted relate to matters that are basically the responsibilities of State and Local Governments and do not appear to have been properly conceptualised, designed and costed.

‘‘Many more projects have been added to the budgets of some MDAs with no consideration for the institutional capacity to execute the additional projects and/or for the incremental recurrent expenditure that may be required," Buhari lamented.

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