ABUJA—Only N20 billion of the N500 billion earmarked for social investments has been released by the Federal Government, Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Investments, Maryam Uwais, has said.

This was contained in a statement issued and signed by the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Legislative Budget and Research, Golu Timothy, yesterday. According to the statement, it is basically impossible for the N500 billion social intervention fund to be implemented as contained in the budget. The Special Adviser, at an interactive session, last Tuesday, had told the committee that only N20 billion of it had been released as at August.

He said:  “The Federal Government should implement the five components in phases as funds are mobilized for effective implementation. And if not implemented, what will the Federal Government budget for 2017? “I appreciate the releases so far made for some capital projects, but the process is slow and it may not catch up with the budgetary expiry time line of the 2016 appropriation.

“The Fiscal Responsibility Act compels the executive to report on the implementation of the budget (both revenue and expenditure) to the National Assembly and Nigerians generally. The executive must understand that the entire budget process is equally important. Not just to present the MTEF and budget then forget about it till the next year. “The precarious revenue situation has forced the Federal Government to raise funds from issuing treasury bills at up to 18 percent. Most of this money, as we hear, is just to cover recurrent (salaries etc). These are things the Federal Government of Nigeria should be engaging the National Assembly and stakeholders now so that we do not just keep passing budgets that will not be implemented.”

Read more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/08/n500bn-poverty-intervention-fund-fg-released-n20bn-sa/

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