- Amaechi, others present scorecards to FEC
Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, wednesday put the amount so far released to fund the capital expenditure (capex) in the 2019 budget at N1.2 trillion.
She also put the prorated revenue performance in the third quarter of the current fiscal year for nine months at N4.2trillion.
She gave the figures while briefing State House reporters on the performance of her ministry in her first 100 days in office at the end of over eight hours of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.
The minister who also said 2.28 per cent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth performance in the third quarter was recorded, added that personnel and overhead costs had been released to different agencies for a period of eight to 11 months depending on the nature of affected agencies.
While putting the revenue performance at 81 per cent, the minister said so far, 50 per cent capital release had also been made.
“The Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning reported on its 100 days’ performance to Federal Executive Council today. The Ministry of Finance has 11 major mandate areas.
“First, in terms of revenue performance, the revenue performance prorated to third quarter of 2019 is N4. 25 trillion and that represents a performance of 81 per cent. That is the third quarter so it is nine months’ prorated, not full year. The GDP growth that we planned for 2019 was 3.5 per cent and the third quarter GDP performance was reported as 2.28 per cent.
“On expenditure, we have been able to release all that is required for personnel expenditure. So, personnel expenditure is on course. Debt service is also on course.
On overhead, we have been able to release eight months’ overhead for general MDA’s and 11 months overhead for some MDAs we classify as critical. These include the security services, the federal government’s unity colleges as well as NYSC and prison rations. So, a few agencies that we classify as critical have received 11 months and we are working on the 12 month overhead release for this category of MDAs.
“So far, as at last week, we have released up to N1. 2 trillion in capital expenditure and that is a 50 per cent performance of the capital for the whole year 2019,” she stated.
Earlier, the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who coordinated the briefing, had told reporters that yesterday’s briefing was dedicated to receiving reports of performance by ministers at the end of their first 100 days in office in accordance with the performance mandate given to them when they were sworn in on August 21, this year.
In his own account of stewardship, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, said whereas his ministry was given a total of nine mandates to achieve, it had only achieved one of the mandates so far, which he described as the passage of the Deep Offshore (Amendment) Bill by the National Assembly.
According to Sylva, the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will be passed in June next year.
He said 2020 would be a busy year for his ministry, as among others, the Port Harcourt Refinery would be rehabilitated during the year while the gas sector would also be opened up.
“The Ministry of Petroleum has nine mandate areas. Today, we reported to council that we have achieved at least one of those mandate areas, which is the passage of the Deep Offshore Amendment Act. We also reported that work is ongoing on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and that hopefully it will be passed into law by June next year.
“We also reported that next year, we will open the gas sector and a lot will happen in the gas sector in Nigeria. Rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refinery will commence in January and hopefully, 2020 will be a very busy year for the oil industry in Nigeria,” he added.
Also giving the account of his stewardship in the past 100 days, the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, said he told the council that the ministry was working on moves to add eight new coaches and two locomotives to the Abuja-Kaduna rail system to ease the growing pressure on the route.
According to him, when the rail system on Abuja-Kaduna route was conceived, it was only designed to serve 300 passengers.
However, he said the number of passengers plying the route has now grown from the projected 300 passengers to 3,700, and as a result of the development, coaches are being added to the route everyday to meet the need of the increasing number of passengers.
Amaechi who also said the Lagos-Ibadan rail system would be inaugurated before April next year, explained that whereas free operations on the route, which have been taking off from Iju in Lagos since inception, would commence from Agege today and subsequently move to Ebute Metta.
The minister also said new coaches and locomotives would be brought to Lagos-Ibadan route to convey passengers without charge from January to April next year.
Amaechi said the ministry was hoping to work on seaport to ease Apapa traffic gridlock next year while the Itakpe-Warri rail line would be inaugurated between January and April next year. In addition, work on Ibadan-Kano route would also commence early next year.
He also said the purchase of equipment for maritime security on deep blue sea to enhance water security and reduce kidnapping and other forms of insecurity on waterways was almost completed.