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In October, when President Muhammadu Buhari presented the 2020 Appropriation Bill before a joint session of the upper and lower Houses of the National Assembly, his proposal was an aggregate of ₦10.3 trillion.

However, when he signed the bill into law in December, after the National Assembly’s perusal, the new aggregate was about ₦10.6 trillion — a difference of about ₦264 billion.

The Senate Committee Chairman on Appropriation, Ibrahim Barau, who first made this known, said the increase was targeted at offsetting the infrastructural deficit in the country.

Analysis

Nonetheless, analysis of the add-ons obtained by PREMIUM TIMES has shown that the Federal Capital Territory Authority (FCTA) is the most favoured institution in the increments across Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

Mr Buhari initially budgeted ₦28.4 billion for the FCTA but upon passage, its new capital expenditure was increased to ₦62.41 billion.

In spite of the infrastructural rot bedeviling the capital city, renovation of the National Assembly complex would chalk off ₦37 billion from this.

Thus, for the coming year, renovation of the legislature building would gulp more funds than the entire stretch of the federal roads in the country would get.

Next to FCTA is the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Commission. Its capital allocation, which falls under the category of statutory transfers, got a raise of about ₦21.6 billion — up from ₦4.6 billion to ₦26.2 billion.

The increment is billed to cater for a flurry of vague projects inserted by federal lawmakers.

These include the “supply of instructional materials to various schools in the North-east,” priced at ₦500 million, same as the “supply of laptops and writing materials to schools in Borno State.”

Curious increase

In terms ratio of increase, the presidency’s Office of the Senior Special Assistant on MDGS (OSSAP-MDGS) took the lead.

The capital expenditure of the office which was initially ₦34 million is now ₦5.1 billion.

What the over ₦5 billion increment is for, among others, includes “supply of goods, fertilisers rice, maize and beans in Katsina” and “supply of tricycles, motorcycles, sewing machines,” each of which will cost ₦500 million; as well as “supply of new Toyota Hiace buses, utility vehicles SDG intervention,” which would gulp ₦1.9 billion.

‘Free money’

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in its recent report categorised projects of these nature — capacity building and empowerment programmes as they are called — as “free money without accountability, aside from being difficult to track.”

An analysis done by this newspaper on the other projects tucked under the budgets of other institutions by federal lawmakers also showed that a slew of them are the same controversial projects that the ICPC recommended be suspended from the nation’s budgetary system.

READ ALSO: How we’ll ensure proper implementation of 2020 budget — Gbajabiamila

Like last year, when over 391 projects were smuggled by federal lawmakers into the budgets of the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and Border Communities Development Agency (BCDA), this year too, over 300 projects found their ways into the two agency’s budgets.

The said ICPC report singled out these two agencies as “conduits for embezzling funds” because of the size, type and number of projects domiciled under them.

This is notwithstanding the fact that some projects in both agencies are overpriced.

Changed presidential stance

When federal lawmakers, while exercising their power over the budget document last year, altered the initial proposal by adding over ₦500 billion and 6,000 new projects, the president was unimpressed and reacted quickly. Not so this time around.

That was a time when the relationship between the legislature and the executive was at an impasse. Then, the president chided the legislators for hijacking the executive’s role of proposing projects.

Mr Buhari, who is now serving his second and final term in office, said then that the funds for some necessary projects have been cut and some unnecessary ones got a raise.

“The National Assembly made cuts amounting to N347 billion in the allocations to 4,700 projects submitted to them for consideration and introduced 6,403 projects of their own amounting to N578 billion.

“Many of the projects cut are critical and may be difficult, if not impossible, to implement with the reduced allocation. Some of the new projects inserted by the National Assembly have not been properly conceptualised, designed and costed and will therefore be difficult to execute.

2020 APPROPRIATION
AGRIC
Executive NASS Difference
FEDERAL COLLEGE OF FISHERIES AND MARINE TECHNOLOGY – LAGOS 996849602 6520757122 5523907520
FEDERAL CO-OPERATIVE COLLEGE- OJI RIVER 1054050828 3991348287 2937297459
NIGERIA STORED PRODUCTS RESEARCH, ILORIN 4190987497 7290438122 3099450625
NIGERIA INSTITUTE OF OCEANOGRAPHY AND MARINE RESEARCH 1306549336 5619102810 4312553474
0
0
FCTA 0
FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY ADMINISTRATION 28422804431 62407154360 33984349929
0
TRADE AND INVESTMENT 0
SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT AGENCY OF NIGERIA 11021125886 14850133832 3829007946
0
SGF 0
BORDER COMMUNITES DEVELOPMENT AGENCY 3731423484 9192685410 5461261926
NATIONAL BOUNDARY COMMISSION 440975845 973927053 532951208
0
0
LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT 0
NATIONAL DIRECTORATE OF EMPLOYMENT 1024786554 13998547226 12973760672
0
0
MINISTRY OF HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS, DISASTER MANAGEMENT 0
NATIONAL AGENCY FOR THE PROHIBITION OF TRAFFIC IN PERSONS 33878667 1183878667 1150000000
NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR REFUGEE 1111252285 6120165930 5008913645
0
PRESIDENCY 0
OFFICE OF THE SENIOR SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT – MDGS (OSSAP-MDGS) 34006614 5106306283 5072299669
0
0
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 0
PROJECT DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE – ENUGU 5061984670 9546984670 4485000000
NIGERIAN BUILDING AND ROAD RESEARCH INSTITUTE – LAGOS 9311610090 20653380834 11341770744
ENERGY COMMISSION OF NIGERIA 1180610044 7817610044 6637000000
0
0
FEDERAL MINISTRY OF WATER RESOURCES 0
ANAMBRA/ IMO RBDA 3385626000 4572159700 1186533700
BENIN/ OWENA RBDA 2988204800 3118794560 130589760
CHAD BASIN RBDA 2573520000 3487844000 914324000
CROSS RIVER RBDA 2800702843 4432962701 1632259858
HADEJIA-JAMAûARE RBDA 3647765975 5608342399 1960576424
LOWER BENUE RBDA 4106488000 6467653735 2361165735
LOWER NIGER RBDA 2876888975 3846544526 969655551
OGUN/ OSUN RBDA 1075693366 3916908698 2841215332
SOKOTO RIMA RBDA 2356309292 5581309260 3224999968
UPPER BENUE RBDA 2662130542 3416772135 754641593
UPPER NIGER RBDA 1432869440 3966053920 2533184480
EDUCATION
UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION (UBE) COMMISSION 4605481710 26179251738 21573770028
146432441246

2020 Budget Analysis.xlsx

“Furthermore, many of these new projects introduced by the National Assembly have been added to the budgets of most MDAs with no consideration for institutional capacity to execute them or the incremental recurrent expenditure that may be required,” a displeased Mr Buhari said.

With the relationship between the two arms of government now ‘cordial’, the president simply heaped praises on the National Assembly for passing the budget in record time.

This is in spite of obvious concerns according to an analysis of the 2019 budget, for which the legislators were reproached.

IMG-20191224-WA0021

“It is my pleasant duty, today, on my 77th birthday, to sign the 2020 Appropriation Bill into law.

“I’m pleased that the National Assembly has expeditiously passed this Bill. Our Federal Budget is now restored to a January-December implementation cycle,” pleased this time around, Mr Buhari wrote on his Twitter page.

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Original Article