Findings by Nigerian Civic and Advocacy Organization, BudgIT, has exposed shortcomings in Nigeria’s 2021 Budget, revealing 316 duplicated capital projects worth N39.5bn.
BudgIT also found zero audit records of the N10.02tn received by Nigeria’s security sector between 2015 and 2021.
As contained in its press statement, BudgIT said 115 out of the duplicated projects occurred in the Ministry of Health. BudgIT lamented the situation, considering the ailing state of the nation’s healthcare sector, which was further overwhelmed by the covid-19 pandemic.
The organization also revealed that government agencies are now receiving monetary allocations for projects which they cannot execute. Examples of such were the N400 million given to the National Agriculture Seed Council to construct solar street lights across the six geopolitical zones in the country, and the N50 million doled out to the Federal College of Forestry in Ibadan, for the construction of street lights in Edo State.
BudgIT also discovered a lack of audit for the over N10.02 trillion spent by the federal government between 2015 and 2021 on security in the country.
As noted by BudgIT’s CEO, Gabriel Okeowo, 2021 has been horrible for most Nigerians as far as security is concerned, despite billions of naira spent in the sector.
“2021 has been a horrifying year for Nigerians concerning security – as the country combats mutating forms of crime and terror – across all its 36 states. This is despite allocating over N10.02tn to security between 2015 and 2021. In the 2021 budget, the entire security sector’s allocation was N1.97tn, representing a 14% increase from the N1.78tn allocated in 2020,” Okeowo said.
To address the shortcomings, Okeowo urged the federal government to urgently block all loopholes in the budget creation and implementation process, some of which are contained in BudgIT’s publication.
“Nigeria is already haunted by a staggering N3.31 to debt servicing burden which will wipe out nearly 41.63% of the projected N7.99tn 2021 revenue.
“The federal government can maximise the little public funds left by blocking the leakages BudgIT has identified,” he advised.