The Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning has begun moves to recover N450 billion unremitted operating surpluses from Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in a desperate move to shore up government’s dwindling revenue.
The issue has been a protracted one and the government said it would no longer tolerate excuses for non-remittance.
The government has also warned public office holders to stay away from flying first class just as it has activated its efficiency unit to prune down the bogus procurement spending of MDAs.
These were contained in its budget call circular to MDAs signed by the Finance Minister, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed.
The circular also stated that President Muhammadu Buhari has banned the distribution of souvenirs events and will move some government offices to properties forfeited to the government by looters.
The Minister warned MDAs on foreign travels, training, and other concerns related to overhead expenditure, insisting that their travels, training, and capacity development programs should be restricted to locations within the country and as close to their office locations as possible.
“Foreign travels and training should be limited to exceptional cases, and with necessary approvals in accordance with extant government policy,”
“More specifically, hosting of board meetings outside the country, payment of sitting allowances, the number of such meetings, etc., must comply with the provisions of the Circular and also be subjected to the reasonableness test,” she added.
MDAs were also warned to desist from the practice of specifying the models and brands of assets they propose to acquire in the budget.
“As much as possible, the generic specification of items should be made in accordance with the Public Procurement Act. Here again, the BOF will intervene to effect necessary amendments.”
Details of the 2021 budget showed that the aggregate expenditure is made up of statutory transfers of N481.41 billion, debt service of N3.124 trillion, sinking fund of N220 billion, recurrent (non-debt) expenditure of N5.746 trillion and capital expenditure (exclusive of capital in Statutory Transfers) of N3.086 trillion.
Of the capital expenditure, the budget call circular shows MDAs’ capital is N1.485 trillion.
The ministries of Works and Housing, Power, Transportation, and Defence are to get the highest capital allocation in the 2021 federal budget.
The Ministry of Works and Housing is to get the highest allocation of N272.06 billion.
This is an increase of N6.2 billion when compared with the N256.73 billion which the sector got in the revised budget of 2020. The ministries of Power, Transportation, and Defence followed with N178.38 billion; N120.04 billion and N120.04 billion respectively as against N128billion, N109.34 billion, and N115.87 billion which they got in that order in the 2020 budget.
Also, Education ministry is to get N80.21billion as capital allocation in 2021 as against N115.87billion this year; Water Resources N84.14billion.