BudgIT Foundation has raised concerns over the capital projects breakdown in 2021 proposed budget; currently marred by opacity, duplications, fragmentations and other critical issues that create loopholes for corruption and misappropriation of limited public funds.
The government had offered hope that capital projects in the 2021 budget would be accompanied by precise GPS coordinates to encourage project monitoring. Not only was this not provided in the budget proposal, many capital projects also had no specific locations in the country.
Recall that in June 2020, our analysis of Open Treasury Portal revealed that over N50bn of public funds were paid into personal accounts; allocating projects without defined location(s) is a loophole for this form of corruption to continue in the fiscal year 2021.
While speaking on other issues with capital projects in the proposed budget, Gabriel Okeowo, BudgIT’s Principal Lead, noted that the Federal Government cannot afford to keep pumping the country’s limited resources into new projects while abandoned capital projects suffer inadequate investment.
“We analysed over 13,000 capital projects in the 2021 budget and observed that 55.51 per cent of the total allocation for capital expenditure are earmarked for new projects, many of which may end up uncompleted by 2021. This is contrary to the hope Mr. President offered in his budget speech that ongoing projects will be prioritized in the 2021 Budget,” said Mr. Okeowo
“Nigeria is currently in recession and strategic spending on capital infrastructure project completion should be a priority,” he added.
Of the 13,343 capital projects we analysed, a sizable number of projects were falsely categorized as capital projects even though in reality they are not.