Isaac Anumihe, Abuja
As part of measures to erase Nigeria’s classification as the poverty capital of the world, President Muhammdau Buhari has ordered Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government to create 100 million jobs over the next 10 years.
Consequently, the president has directed that every expenditure by the MDAs must march the number of jobs they create.
This implies that all contract awards must have an expected number of jobs it will create before that contract is awarded.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, stated this at the presentation of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP), in Abuja.
Lamenting that the 2018 budget performance was just 55 per cent, she threatened to sanction MDAs that fail to meet their targets in the 2020 budget.
“The budget is supposed to be a target that each ministry, department and agency must attain. What we have to do, going forward, is to make sure that we have a process that will enforce the realisation of this target. And knowing that the target is not met up to a certain level, there will be consequences. But the answer is certainly not to bring yourself down up to a level where the performance in is itself low”, she reiterated.
She announced that the basic healthcare provision fund which did not perform well in 2018 Budget because of paucity of funds in the capital (expenditure) had been moved from the capital to the statutory line for easy implementation.
“On the basic health care provision fund, it was provided for in the budget. What we did last year was that it was provided for in the capital. So we are seeing it. But what happened was that the releases became a challenge as the capital was usually subject to availability of funds. The result was that what was budgeted was not completely released.
“By moving this to the statutory line is to ensure implementation and, on routine basis and on monthly basis, they will get 1 per cent. One over 12 of what is in the budget. So, this will ensure that provision is better met,” she said.
Speaking on the controversy over the refund of the intervention fund given to the power sector and the abysmal performance by the sector, the Minister hinted that the government would soon review the Power Reform Act with a view to ending its intervention in the sector.
“We will review the power reform act so as to stop government from intervening in the sector”, Mrs Ahmed stated.