President Buhari unable to account for over ₦3.9 trillion

After a protracted turf war with the National Assembly, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the 2016 budget into law.

Something sinister is already happening: with just two months to the end of the 2016 fiscal year, President Buhari has yet to come clean on how the trillions released was spent.

Recall that he got over ₦6.1 trillion naira!

Of this huge amount, more than ₦700 billion is believed to have been released to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

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As at yesterday, neither the first nor second quarterly budgetary implementation reports, were available.

The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, recently revealed that at the end of September, the sum of ₦3.9 trillion budgeted for the year had been released.

Adeosun had said of the amount released, 18% was for capital expenditure, while 82% was for recurrent.

Checks at the Budget and National Planning Ministry for clues on the deployment of particularly the capital votes were unsuccessful.

Highly placed officials, said the finance ministry was in a better position to say which MDAs received the money and what their projects were.

One official said: “Capital releases are handled by the Minister of Finance.

“MDAs pass their proposals through us, and after evaluation and satisfaction with them, we give the go ahead to the Ministry of Finance to release funds.

“So, it is the ministry that is in custody of records on released funds.

“We monitor, evaluate and approve disbursements based on appropriation and requests from the MDAs.

“Even if we have copies of those approvals, we are not the appropriate authority to give out information on releases.

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“What the MDAs have, as overall capital allocation in the 2016 budget, are indicated in the budget analysis.

This document can either be found in the strategy documents distributed much earlier or on the Budget Office website.

“The respective ministries can also tell you the extent to which they have gone on individual projects they carried out.”

The absence of any single quarter report of implementation raises the question whether there has been any form of monitoring.