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NASS Considers PMB’s N180bn Virement Request over 2016 Budget

NASS Considers PMB’s N180bn Virement Request over 2016 Budget
The Senate has begun the consideration of a request by President Muhammadu Buhari to the National Assembly seeking approval for the sum of N180.839,254,430 billion by way of virement to fund shortfalls in the 2016 Budget. Out of the amount to be vired, the total recurrent expenditure requirement is N166,630,886,954 while the capital expenditure requirement is N14,208,367,476.


The request was referred to the Senator Danjuma Goje-led Senate Committee on Appropriation at plenary yesterday which will report back on Wednesday. leadership recalls that President Buhari had, in a letter dated Monday, October 24, 2016, and addressed to both Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara, said the request had arisen due to a number of reasons, which include shortfalls in provisions for personnel costs; inadequate provision ab initio for some items like the amnesty programme; continuing requirements to sustain the war against insurgency; and depreciation of the Naira.

The requested virement is from funds appropriated for Special Intervention (Recurrent) – N300 billion (with a balance of N275bn) and Special Intervention (Capital) – N200 billion (with a balance of N145bn) to fund some critical recurrent and capital items in the budget, which have inadequate appropriations.

The Personnel Cost and Overhead provisions leave no margin for amounts to be vired from them. The only viable provisions from which the required amounts can be vired are those for the Special Intervention Programme which are not likely to be fully utilized this year as it took some time to work out proper operational modalities for its operation,   he said.


However, considering the fact that budgeted revenues are running behind target largely due to the renewed violence in the Niger Delta, and there are no supplementary revenue sources, the most viable option for now is the virement of appropriated funds from heads or subheads that may not be fully utilized before the end of this fiscal year,   Buhari said.

According to the president, in the course of implementing the 2016 Appropriation Act, several ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) presented issues pertaining to salary shortfalls, the settlement of part of which has led to the depletion of the Public Service Wage Adjustment (PSWA) from N33,597,400,000 to N2,758,296,000, while the Committee on Salary Shortfalls, set up by the Minister of Finance, has also come up with a figure of N41,875,083,020 as the amount needed to settle salary shortfalls of non-Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) MDAs.

Other affected areas are the security-related lines in the Service Wide Vote with the Nigerian Air Force requiring about N12,708,367,476 to cover the foreign exchange differentials in the procurement of its critical capabilities; the need to augment the N1,827,570,443 balance in the Contingency Vote in the light of frequently emerging contingencies; and the inadequate provision for NYSC in the 2016 budget, which requires an additional N8.5 billion to cover the backlog of 129,469 corps members, who are currently due for call-up.

Similarly, the provision for meal subsidy for the Unity Colleges is inadequate for the number of students in the schools. Also, there was no provision for feeding of cadets at the Police Academy, Wudil, Kano. These situations are hampering the operations of the affected agencies,  Buhari pointed out.

The president noted that the provision for Statutory Transfer to the Public Complaints Commission (PCC) was reduced to N2,000,000,000 in 2016 from N4,000,000,000 in 2015, adding that the agency is consequently, experiencing difficulty in paying salaries of its personnel as and when due. Buhari further said that due to the devaluation of the Naira, the budgetary provisions for Nigeria’s foreign missions were no longer sufficient to cover all their costs. He also pointed out that the provision for Presidential Initiative for the North East (N12,000,000,000) had a balance of less than N1.5bn, yet there continues to be mounting challenges with the Internally Displaced Persons (lDPs) in the zone.

Consequent, the President specially request the virement to fund the critical expenditure items as follows: Recurrent: i.) Service Wide Vote: Public Service Wage Adjustment – N71,800,215,270; ii.) Service Wide Vote: Contingency – N1,200,000,000; iii.) Service Wide Vote: Margin for Increase in Cost – N2,000,000,000; iv.) Ministry of Interior: Cadet Feeding for Police Academy, Wudil, Kano – N932,400,000; v.) Service Wide Vote: Amnesty Programme – N35,000,000,000.


Others under Recurrent are iv.) Service Wide Vote: Internal Operations of the Armed Forces – N5,205,930,270; vi.) Service Wide Vote: Operation Lafiya Dole – N13,933,093,000; vii.) Ministry of Youth and Sports Development: NYSC – N19,792,018,400; ix.) Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Foreign Missions – N14,667,230,014; and x.) Federal Ministry of Education: Augmentation of Meal Subsidy/Direct Teaching and Lab Cost – N900,000,000.

Also, there is a statutory transfer to the Public Complaints Commission of N1,200,000,000 to take care of salary shortfall, while under Capital projects, the requests are: i.) Ministry of Defence: Nigeria Air Force (NAF) – N12,708,367,476; and ii.) Capital Supplementation: Presidential Initiative for the North East (PINE) – N1,500,000,000.

“I implore you to urgently consider the above proposals in order to support our efforts to improve the well-being of our citizens. I assure you that these proposals have been diligently evaluated, and are truly exigent,” the President had added.

The House of Representatives yesterday directed its Committee on Appropriation and other relevant committee’s to consider President Muhammadu Buhari request for N180 billion virement in the 2016 budget.

The House, in a motion sponsored by the Majority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila noted that the virement of funds appropriated for Special Intervention for some critical recurrent and capital expenditure was due to salary shortfalls affecting government ministries and agencies. According to Gbajabiamila, several MDAs presented issues pertaining to salary shortfalls as it affects MDAs that are not under the platform of the IPPIS and some MDAs under the IPPIS would be locked out as their personnel cost budget would not cover for the rest of the year.

The request was in respect of virement of funds appropriated for Special Intervention of some critical recurrent and capital items, and the request was necessitated by a number of reasons, including shortfalls in provisions of personnel cost, inadequate provision for the Amnesty programme, the need to sustain the war against insurgency and the depreciation of Naira,  he said.

Specifically, the House Leader noted that the Nigerian Air Force needs to cover the foreign exchange differentials in the procurement of its critical equipment and argument the contingency vote, and also to provide for inadequacy in the provision for the National Youth Service Corps in the 2016 budget, among other issues.

The president had in October requested the virement of N180.8 billion in the 2016 budget for provision of needed votes for some sectors. He made the requests in two separate letters to the Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Buhari in the virement request said the N180 billion would be moved from monies already appropriated for special Intervention programmes both recurrent and csapital for funding of critical recurrent and capital items. The request arose due to shortfalls in provisions for personnel costs, inadequate provision ab initio for amnesty programme, continuing requirements to sustain the war against insurgency and depreciation of the naira.

The letter reads in part: “In the course of implementing the 2016 Appropriation Act, several MDAs have presented issues pertaining to salary shortfalls, the settlement of part of which has led to the depletion of the Public Service Wage Adjustment. This Vote, which had a provision of N33, 597,400,000, now has a balance of N2, 758,296,000. The provision for NYSC in the 2016 budget is inadequate to cater for the number of corps members to be mobilised this year.”

SOURCE: leadershipng


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