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News Update (November 4, 2009 02:54 PM...)

Nigeria records 42% budget performance in second quarter


With a record of 42 per cent budget performance in the second quarter of the year, the Federal Government of Nigeria on Wednesday raised a hope of progress on projects related to the implementation of the Seven Point Agenda.

According to figures released in Abuja by the Budget Office of the Federation (BoF), capital budget implementation for the quarter averaged 42.92 per cent, being N193.08 billion out of N449.88 billion cash-backed by the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.

The statement described the performance as an improvement of about 20 per cent over the first quarter performance.

Quite significant is the progress being recorded on projects directly related to the implementation of the Seven Point Agenda, the statement said.

It will be recalled that a capital vote of 93.2 per cent of the 2009 Budget was allocated to priority sectors like Transport, Power, Works, Housing & Urban Development, the FCT, Police, Food Security (Agriculture and Water Resources), the Niger Delta, and Human Capital Development (Education and Health), it indicated.

The report showed that some sectors are beginning to show visible signs of the attention being devoted to them. These include the FCT, Agriculture, Niger Delta, Education and Health. Of the 44 Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) assessed, 12 of them utilised over 70 per cent of the capital vote released to them. Three FCT, Aviation and Niger Delta improved from below average performance to 70.85 per cent, 77.25 per cent and 100 per cent respectively. MDAs which need to do more to meet their targets include Works, Power, Police, Education, and Transport.

Expatiating further on the report which was prepared in line with the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007, Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Dr. Bright Okogu stated that the quarterly budget review was an intrinsic part of the governments strategy to measure progress and infuse a sense of urgency in the pursuit of governments economic priorities encapsulated in the Seven-Point Agenda.

In accordance with the vision of the President, the Ministry of Finance and the Budget Office of the Federation are determined to work with the other MDAs to ensure that clear and visible progress is made in the areas which will improve the lot of Nigerians in a systematic and sustainable way, Okogu said.

Given the momentum which can be seen in the budget performance, there is a strong basis for believing that the implementation rate will improve in the final two quarters of the year.

Oil production during the first half of the year improved slightly, averaging 2.14 million barrels per day (mbpd) compared to 2.05mbpd for the first quarter according to data from NNPC. Headline inflation on a year on year basis was 11.2 per cent, down from 14.6 per cent as at the first quarter, while broad money (M2) grew by 14.2 per cent over the same period. However, interest rates remained high with the weighted average interbank call rate falling to 18.6 per cent. As already indicated, falling revenue projections were a major feature of the budget during the first half of 2009. The aggregate revenue available for distribution to the three tiers of government according to the report fell short of projected estimate of N1791.7 billion by N461.33 billion (or 25.75 per cent). At the Federal Government budget level, oil revenue underperformed by N205.23 billion relative to the projected level of N441.38 billion.

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