Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, said recurrent releases to Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) under the 2017 budget had reached N4.24 trillion.
Udoma said this on Tuesday in Abuja while giving an overview of the 2018 Budget Proposal tagged “Budget of Consolidation”.
He gave a breakdown on recurrent and capital releases to MDAs from January to September under the 2017 Appropriation Act.
A breakdown of the non-debt recurrent expenditure showed that personnel costs including pension and gratuities had so far gulped N1.85 trillion, while N138 billion had been released to MDAs to cover their overhead costs.
Udoma also said that Service Wide Votes, the Social Investment Programme and the Presidential Amnesty Programme gulped N689.7 billion between January and September this year.
He said that so far, N1.54 trillion had been used for debt service obligations.
Udoma said that because the government was concerned with the welfare of its workers, it made it a priority to start paying arrears of personnel emoluments going back to 2012.
On releases for capital projects, Udoma said that N450 billion had been released as at October 2017.
“Spending on capital projects has been prioritised in favour of critical ongoing infrastructure projects such as power, roads, rail and agriculture.
“The N100 billion Sukuk Bond raised in October for instance was deployed to the construction of 25 roads around the country,” he said.
Udoma recalled that while the releases for the recurrent component of the budget started in January 2017, the capital releases did not commence until the budget was signed in June, 2017.
He also said that releases for capital projects were being delayed as they were designed to be funded by borrowings, hence as the planned borrowings materialised, spending would be stepped up.