OrderPaperToday – The failure of members of the Executive arm of the federal government to convince the National Assembly of clear and feasible implementation strategies for the N500billion allocated for social intervention programmes in the 2016 budget may force the parliament to disapprove of the proposed expenditure.

If that happens, promises of the All Progressives Congress (APC) – led government at the centre to feed school pupils, pay N5000 monthly stipends to the unemployed and provide small credit to small businesses among others, would become a mirage and will likely cause public disenchantment with an administration that is already being heavily criticized for backing down on some of its campaign manifesto.

16 Budget: National Assembly Picks Holes in N500bn Social Intervention Programmes

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OrderPaperToday – The failure of members of the Executive arm of the federal government to convince the National Assembly of clear and feasible implementation strategies for the N500billion allocated for social intervention programmes in the 2016 budget may force the parliament to disapprove of the proposed expenditure.

If that happens, promises of the All Progressives Congress (APC) – led government at the centre to feed school pupils, pay N5000 monthly stipends to the unemployed and provide small credit to small businesses among others, would become a mirage and will likely cause public disenchantment with an administration that is already being heavily criticized for backing down on some of its campaign manifesto.

On Thursday, the Joint Committee on Appropriation of the Senate and House of Representatives said the implementation of N500bn intervention fund contained in the 2016 budget proposal would not be feasible because there were no clear implementation strategies.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Sen. Danjuma Goje. who made this known at an  interactive session with Ministers of Budget and National Planning, Finance, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Accountant General of the Federation and major stakeholders, said though explanations offered on the implementation of the social programmes were not satisfactory.

According to him, “there is no detailed, clear cut structure being laid down for implementation of this project because what we have in this budget is N300bn recurrent and N200bn capital.

“We had to push hard yesterday to get some details which is not convincing. For instance, the explanation we got is that N5000 will be given to one million Nigerians.

“Who would choose the one million people, what structures do you have in place to make sure that you choose the right people.

“You want to give N45,000  to about one million market women or thereabout and in my place we do not have many market women so how would you choose the market women to represent all interests.”

Goje reiterated that “we have not gotten clear explanations to these numerous issues surrounding the implementation of this money.

“Even the afternoon school feeding programme contained in the budget is not feasible because some students study under non-conducive environment. Will feeding them enhance their learning?’’

The chairman explained that while the National Assembly was in support of the programme, implementing it in 2016 might not be feasible.

He therefore suggested that the money be added to the budgetry allocation for sectors like power, transport and health while those responsible for the social programmes would map out better strategy against 2017 budget.

He clarified that though he remained loyal to the programmes of the APC, the overall interest of the country was paramount in passing the budget. He said: “We are all happy with the programme and I am a party man to the core but what needs to be done needs to be done very well.

“I think there is a need to do a greater work on implementation otherwise this money will go down the drain. We support this programme; we want Mr President to succeed, we want our party to succeed, we want to continue to win election but we want the programme to be successful.

“So, Mr Minister, we want you to come up with workable implementation strategy otherwise there are so many things that require attention in this country. We would rather use this money to solve our problem, use this year to do very sound ground work for implementation so that the programmme can take off next year.”

Goje also emphasized the need for more budgetry allocation to the agricultural sector and solid minerals in view of the emphasis on diversification of the economy, saying: “We believe that N9 billion cannot diversify solid mineral and N43 billion cannot diversify agruiculture.’’

In his response, Minister of Budget and Planning, Mr. Udoma Udoma said the special  intervention programme was a political commitment which the present administration would not hesitate to fulfill.

He promised to meet with relevant stakeholders to discuss on better strategies for implementation.

“You can be sure that before it is rolled out the National assembly would be consulted. The fact of the matter is you have extensive network in  the National assembly and nobody can succeed in the social intervention.

Speaking on  diversification, the minister clarified that  the N9 billion budgetry allocation  to Solid Minerals and N43  billion allocated to agriculture would help to create an enabling environment for private investment.
He also explained that the 2016 budget was  zero based, stressing that it  did not mean that there  would not be ceiling as obtained in envelop system.

Udoma clarified that zero based budgeting meant that each project must be justified by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) before they can be included in the budget.

He also said there would be a mid-term review in the event that the 38 dollar per barrel benchmark and other provisions in the budget were not realisable.

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21 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks 2 the senators and reps,it is a brave work done so far continue studying d budget and make any scam public.

  2. Are they doing it sincerely.there is hunger in town.Other countries has what we called social intervention scheme

  3. @ibrahim, this is not about igbo, Buhari said he is not going to pay N5000 to the unemployed again. He was supported by lai mohammed who said they are not going to fulfil their promises because oil is now $30 per barrel, and okorocha said the poor will use the money to marry new wives and drink alcohol. Now why did they budget N500bn for social intervention when they are not willing to help the poor anymore according to their 419 promises. Can you see that Nigeria cannot survive because of tribalism. For someone like you everything Buhari does is good and everything an igbo does is bad. Can you see why Nigeria should be allowed to divide into two or three countries?

  4. @ chibuike,chris ngige once said #5000 not for lazy people,nothing we no go hear,apc sympathisers ar shameless.

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