Some experts have condemned the annual insertion of certain items in the budgets of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government.
They told INKLING correspondents that the development was stalling the growth of the nation’s economy.
The Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Muda Yusuf, called for proper monitoring and evaluation of certain items in the nation’s budget.
He told one of our correspondents that the practice of repeating some items in the country’s budget every year was unjustifiable.
He said, “There has to be proper monitoring and evaluation of those numbers to see how many of those items were bought last year and see whether there is any basis for buying them again this year.
“They (MDAs) can’t be buying computers every year. If they buy computer this year, it should last for two or three years. The principle of the budget when this government started was zero based.
“The main principle of zero- based budgets is that you don’t repeat purchases or you don’t buy things that cannot be justified. So, that is the issue. Repetition of purchases or purchasing unjustifiable items counters the principle of zero-based budget.”
A former President of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, Dr. Sam Nzekwe, said the repetition of some of the identified items in the budget was another reason the country always had high recurrent expenditure.
He said, “Many times we see that government borrow so much in order to meet the high recurrent expenditure arising from some of these items in the budget. This is not good for our country.
“It is dangerous because the funds they borrow are not being used for capital development. A lot of them go to recurrent expenditure, which is nearly a waste. So such repetitions should not be allowed to continue.”
The Centre for Social Justice, in a report made available to one of our correspondents by its facilitator, Mr. Eze Onyekpere, recommended that if much expenditure in the budget was slashed, it could save the country about N219.3bn.
It lamented that Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government now allocated huge sums of money for expenditure that were unclear in the budget.
Some of them, according to the report, are for the purchase of vehicles, welfare packages, software, computers, uniforms and clothing, refreshments and meals, monitoring and evaluation.
It stated that the 2018 fiscal document contained over N460bn expenditure that were “frivolous, inappropriate, unclear and wasteful”
It noted that if certain expenditure in the budget was slashed, Nigerian could save about N219.3bn.
The co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, BudgIT, Seun Onigbinde, said most heads of MDAs preferred to deliver administrative capital projects rather than development capital projects.
He said, “Buying of computers, Hilux vans and buses, which are taken as capital projects, does not really have any impact on the people. We should pay special attention to which types of capital projects are funded.”