Stories by Tony Obiechina
The Ministry of Power, Works and Housing got the highest allocation of N715 billion for both recurrent and capital expenditure in the 2018 budget, followed by the Ministry of Interior with N577 billion while Ministry of Defence was allocated N576 billion.
The Federal Ministry of Education was allocated N542 billion, Ministry of Health N356 billion, Ministry of Transportation, N267 billion and Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, N203 billion.
Minister of Budget and Planning, Mr. Udoma Udo Udoma announced this last ursday in Abuja at the presentation of the 2018 Budget of Consolidation. e N9.12 trillion 2018 budget was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari last Wednesday a er it was raised from N8.61 trillion by the National Assembly.Other sectoral allocations, are Ministry of Water Resources, N155 billion; O ce of the National Security Adviser, N123 billion; Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, N118 billion, and Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, N116 billion. e O ce of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation was allocated N112 billion.
Giving a breakdown of the allocations, Udoma said capital expenditure would gulp 31.5 per cent of the total expenditure at N2.87 trillion, adding that this was more than N2.36 trillion allocated in 2017.
Recurrent non-debt spending would rise from N2.99 trillion in 2017 to N3.51 trillion in 2018.
Udoma said the Federal Government planned to spend N2.01 trillion on debt servicing (21 per cent of budget), adding that provision to retire maturing bond to local contractors increased by seven per cent from N177 billion in 2017 to N190 billion for the current scal year.
He said this was in view of the ambitious plan to liquidate all contractor debt arrears of the Federal Government going back several years.While highlighting some of the projects to be carried out in the year, Udoma said infrastructure, security and human development were the focus of the government.He said N530.8 million would be used in constructing the terminal building at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu , and N8.32 billion used for the construction of the second runway of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
He stressed that while N162.28 billion was scheduled as counterpart funding for railway projects, N9.4 billion was set aside as counterpart fund for the Mambilla hydro-power project.
He said that N344 billion was allocated for the construction and rehabilitation of several roads nationwide and N26.7 billion allocated to National Housing Programme.For health, he said N55.15 billion had been
allocated to the implementation of the National Health Act, while N300 million had been set aside for health emergencies and contagious diseases outbreaks.
For agriculture, the Minister said over N25.1 billion was allocated for promotion and development of value chain across more than 30 di erent commodities to ensure food security,
He also said that N5.30 billion was allocated for National Grazing Reserve Development.
The Minister said that procurement of ammunition of various types and calibers would cost N5.3 billion, while construction of new military barracks in five geo-political zones would gulp N2.3 billion.
For mines and steel, he said N644 million would be used for the establishment of mining regulatory agency for the sector and N450 million used to reclaim abandoned mine sites.
For education, Udoma said the Universal Basic Education Commission was allocated N109 billion and N9.2 billion allocated for various scholarship allowances.
He added that N65 billion was allocated for re-integration of transformed ex-militants under the Presidential Amnesty Programme, while N45 billion was allocated for the Federal Initiative for North-East (Pilot counterpart funding contribution).
Udoma said that the goal of the 2018 budget was to consolidate on the gains recorded so far by the administration and ensure that all Nigerians bene tted from the economic progress.
In his address, Mr Ben Akabueze, Director-General, Budget O ce of the Federation, said the Federal Government would work with the National Assembly to ensure that the nation returned to the January to December budget cycle.
He expressed the hope that the 2018 budget would be the last to be signed in the middle of the budget year.
He said that in furtherance to the Federal Government’s commitment to Open Government Partnership, it was desirous of improving citizens’ access and understanding of the budget.