ABOUT 60% of the expenditure programmes included in Nigeria’s 2019 budget are to be carried over into next year because of a lack of aggressive implementation according to the labour and employment minister Dr Chris Ngige.
Earlier this year, President Buhari signed the 2019 budget into law worth $28.8bn, with about $9.5bn of the sum dedicated to capital projects. However, implementation has been particularly slow this year, partially due to the fact that the country was without ministers for three months due to elections, meaning that most of the projects have not been executed.
Yesterday, President Buhari inaugurated his new cabinet, with Dr Ngige returned to his position as labour minister. Holding an inaugural meeting with representatives of the various departments and agencies under the ministry shortly after his reappointment, Dr Ngige said the lack of aggressive implementation meant that about 60% of the budget would be rolled over into 2020.
Dr Ngige said: “The 2019 budget has not been aggressively executed and 60% of it will have to be rolled into the 2020 budget. We knew this during the presidential retreat that was organised for ministers-designate at the presidential villa.
“We have been told to submit our 2020 budget to the National Assembly in September so that we can get it back by December. Senate president Ahmed Lawan is a man of his words that we can work with.”
He warned that any department under the ministry found guilty of colluding with National Assembly members to pad its budget would be dealt with. Dr Ngige also said that the ministry would monitor job losses with the aim to stem the tide while pursuing various ways of creating more jobs.