The Federal Government has explained that the implementation of capital projects components in the 2021 Appropriation Act may have to be extended till 2022.
The delay according to a communique made available to newsmen on Monday morning was due to the inability of many ministries and agencies to conclude their procurement process until the last quarter of this year.
Naija News understands that there was an outright ban placed on the procurement process between January to May 31, 2021, and this was capitalized on by many agencies as the reason why they could not meet up with performances.
It was revealed that heads of the MDAs who had appeared before the various Senate standing committees for their 2021 budget performances, lamented on the mid-year ban and blamed it for their inability to execute their capital projects at the end of the year as expected.
Speaking with the Senate Committee on the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency earlier, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the Federal Government issued a circular to delay the implementation of capital components in the 2021 budget till May 31, this year.
He said, “FERMA, like other MDAs got circulars that delayed and deferred commencement of the implementation of the 2021 budget till May 31.
“In order to get a clear picture of the delay in real-time, the committee should begin its reckoning from June.
“This means that the budget has run essentially for five months in real-time this year, not for 11 months.”
According to The PUNCH, most MDAs did not achieve up to 70 per cent implementation of their capital projects, one month to the end of the year.
On his part, while interacting with newsmen in Abuja on the development earlier, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Barau Jibrin, explained that the Federal Government circular was issued based on the poor implementation of the capital components of the 2020 budget, occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Jibrin said the National Assembly would appraise the situation of the execution of the project whether the implementation of the 2021 budget could be extended to next year since funds had been released for the execution of the project.
He said, “We went through the Covid-19 crisis in 2020 and the development created a lot of problems. Funds were released to the MDAs but they were not able to do anything because of lockdown.
“At the end of the day, the government extended the implementation of the 2020 capital budget to 2021.
“This affected the 2021 budget because the implementation of the capital projects for 2022 did not start early because of the situation last year.
“Funds had been released for the implementation of capital projects for this year and work had started in earnest.
“We will, however, look at the situation. Whatever is necessary we will do it in a way that would allow for free flow of the process for the implementation of capital projects.
“We are working with the executive on that. We would look at all the factors. We will consult with the executive and find the best way possible to utilise the money realised if they had not been expended before the end of the year,” the chairman added.
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