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N13.1bn ministries’ projects removed from 2018 budget

About 132 projects valued at N13.16bn were removed from the 2018 budget proposals submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari to the National Assembly.

An analysis of the budget document conducted by the Budget Office of the Federation showed that 13 ministries were affected by the removal of their capital projects from the budget.

President Muhammadu Buhari had while signing the 2018 budget last month lamented the way it was tinkered with by the lawmakers.

Buhari had said, “The logic behind the constitutional direction that budgets should be proposed by the Executive is that it is the Executive that knows and defines its policies and projects.

“Unfortunately, that has not been given much regard in what has been sent to me.”

According to the document obtained from the Budget Office by our correspondent, the Ministry of Defence suffered the highest number of projects removed from the passed budget, with 13 projects valued at N3.63bn.

This was followed by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development with N2.1bn, while 22 and 14 projects worth N2bn and N1.3bn were removed from the ministries of Niger Delta and Communications, respectively.

In the same vein, the Ministry of Water Resources had one project worth N1.2bn removed from the budget; the Ministry of Agriculture had three projects worth N225m removed; Budget and National Planning ministry had one project worth N45m removed; while 37 projects valued at N741.7m were removed from the budget of the Education ministry.

Others projects removed from the budget are that of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with 17 projects worth N412.7m; Health, with three projects valued at N262.2m; Information and Culture, with 16 projects worth N412.7m; Power, Works and Housing, N550m; and Ministry of Women Affairs, with one project worth N250m.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, last week said that with the way the National Assembly altered the capital component of the 2018 budget, there might be a shift in the completion of capital projects.