Blame ‘No Funding’ For Budget Items Replication – Budget Office


The Federal Government has blamed non-funding of budgeted items in past appropriations for the infamous annual duplication and repetitions of such projects by Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs),
This is even as the Budget Office of the Federation said a uniform pricing template will be used for items in the 2018 budget to forestall incident of differentials in pricing similar items budgeted for by the MDAs.
Director-General of the Budget Office, Mr. Ben Akabueze, who explained differential prices and repetitions of items in the 2017 budget on Thursday in Abuja, said while the MDAs adopted current market prices in their individual budget, the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP) relied on an out-dated price list to decide appropriate pricing for each items on the procurement list and this eventually led to differences in prices of identical items.
Mr. Ben Akabueze said items with varying prices from different MDAs are being rationalized by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), empowered by law to approve the “No Objection Certificate” before every procurement process is completed.
According to him, “Going forward, the BPP and Budget Office of the Federation will work collaboratively to ensure timely review of price list,” explaining that the liaison will ensure transparency as well as straighten out issues of price differentials for items.
The Director General, who stated that disparities in prices of items are sometimes due to the topography and the security situation on ground around the projects sites, cited the instance of controversies surrounding the famous ‘VIP’ toilets, maintaning that different rates may apply given the physical terrain and security situation in the chosen location.
In blaming non and inadequate funding items in past budget for the well-known duplication and repetitions of related items by MDAs, Mr Akabueze said, “It is not a secret that for a long time now, the FGN (Federal Government of Nigeria) has not been able to fully implement its annual budget, especially the capital expenditure component. It should be noted that capital budget implementation depends on resource availability; as such MDAs’ budgetary provisions not fully funded in the 2016 Budget will be repeated in the 2017 budget.”
The Director General, who explained that the State House kitchen utensils not funded last year now enjoys provision in the 2017 budget, said, “When we sent out the Call Circular, we told them (MDAs) clearly that those items that could not be funded in the previous budget should be re-presented,” he said and went on to cite the State House kitchen utensils which was not funded last year and therefore enjoys provision in the 2017 budget.”
Dismissing allegations that the 2017 budget may also suffer from the inglorious padding controversies, Mr Akabueze said the government zero-based budgeting has made the 2017 budget processes far more transparent, adding, “I can say without equivocation that that there is no padding in the 2017 budget. I would urge interested members of the society to ask for more constructive engagement”.
On government funding of overhead sector of its recurrent budget, Mr Akabueze said there has been serious financial challenges in recent years because though personnel is prioritized, overhead has not been fully funded”, adding, “So if the overhead of an MDA is not fully released for that year, they may not be able to procure all that they budgeted to implement.”

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