Lawmakers express worry about 2020 budget implementation

Edwin Akwueh, Abuja


The National Assembly Leadership on Monday, expressed worry over what it described as poor implementation of the capital component of the 2020 budget extended to March 31 this year.


The Lawmakers’ made their position known following a presentation by the  Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, confirming that only 30% of the extended capital component of the 2020 budget has been achieved.


At an interactive session on Monday, the federal lawmakers led by both the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, told the Minister that she was invited to brief them on level of implementation of the extended budget life span.


The Speaker said: “since it is not a usual thing to extend life span of a budget, it is imperative to have visible and identifiable results achieved with the extension granted the capital component of the 2020 budget from December 31, 2020 to March 31, 2021.”


“This special session of the leadership of NASS interfacing with you , is meant for oversighting the extension because feelers from the various MDAs on the implementation is not all that cheering.


“Many of them have complained to our various committees, the difficulties they are facing in accessing funds said to have been released by your ministry. We want to know the level of performance achieved so far whether it justifies the extension granted or not, ” he said.


The Minister in her response said as at the end of January this year,  only 30% implementation of the extended capital component of the budget was achieved, but since all the funds have been released and most of the agencies accessing them, remarkable percentage implementation will be achieved before March 31st this year.


In her clarification on the state of foreign exchange, she assured the lawmakers that appropriate authorities and agencies within the government were working towards bridging the existing gap between the two windows of foreign exchange.


At present, while the official rate of foreign exchange hovers between =N=360 to =N=379 to a U.S dollar that of the parallel market is about =N=465 to a U.S dollar.



COV/EDWIN/Lateefah Ibrahim

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