The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, has clearly stated that the Government would concentrate on key projects in the implementation of the 2016 Appropriation Act. He openly disclosed this when he appeared before the Joint Committees on Ethics, Appropriation and Finance in Abuja on Wednesday. He was reportedly reacting to the statements attributed to him on non-implementation of constituency projects in the country. He admitted to making the statement as quoted in a national daily news on June 28 below…
“This is to the effect that government might find it very difficult to implement all projects in the budget. In particular, my views that some of the projects that might suffer lack of implementation are constituency projects among others are correct,” he said. He agreed making the statement in view of the realities, and added that with the dwindling revenue base of the country, implementing all projects in the budget would be difficult.
“Now, I want to be truthful to the position of the government on this he continued… You predicated the revenue base of the government at 2.2 million barrels per day. The revenue is dwindling to 800,000 barrels per day subsequent upon which there will be inability to finance projects appropriated for. It is important for politicians and government to prepare the minds of the people that there are challenges in implementing the budget. As to what MDAs might do or not do in terms of their mandate. I will like to let you in on the mind of the government with respect to implementation of capital projects. We budgeted for only capital projects that are key to the mandate of the government that the government considers very important, like restoring security, employment, and diversification. A lot of the MDAs were guided to comply with this principle. That illustrates why the implementation of certain projects will be very difficult in the light of dwindling resources. Our revenue profile so far according to Minister of Budget, is basically 50 per cent to 60 per cent of our projected earnings, meaning there might be 40 per cent loss in the budget,” he said.
He explained that the statement was his view and not the position of government. However, he withdrew the statement, after pressure from the committee to do so.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), recalls that Babachir was summoned to explain his statement on non-implementation of constituency projects.