BUSI­NESS Bud­get fund­ing, our big­gest prob­lem – Udoma

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Hamisu Muham­mad & Lat­i­fat Opoola

Fund­ing is the great­est chal­lenge the cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion is fac­ing in im­ple­ment­ing bud­gets, the Min­is­ter of Bud­get and Na­tional Planning Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma has said.

Speak­ing yes­ter­day at the pub­lic pre­sen­ta­tion of the 2018 Ap­pro­pri­a­tion Bill in Abuja, the min­is­ter told the stake­hold­ers that the gov­ern­ment is con­strained in im­ple­ment­ing key projects in the past due to the rev­enue short­fall.

“The pri­mary prob­lem of this coun­try is rev­enue, what we have is rev­enue prob­lem and that is why we are do­ing ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to in­crease our rev­enue col­lec­tions.”

He said the fed­eral gov­ern­ment is ex­pect­ing avail­able rev­enue of N6.6 tril­lion for the year which is 30 per cent above the 2017 pro­jec­tion of N5.0tr.

Udoma ex­plained that the col­lec­tion of the Value Added Tax (VAT) and Com­pany In­come Tax (CIT) will drop by 14 and 2 per cent re­spec­tively in 2018 com­pared to 2017. He ex­plained that in 2017 the gov­ern­ment was able to col­lect the out­stand­ing pay­ments of the two taxes but there is no such pro­vi­sion in 2018 hence the re­duc­tion.

Ma­jor­ity of the of the projects in 2017 cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture have to be rolled over to 2018 due to the paucity of fund, say­ing that 2017 cap­i­tal bud­get was meant to be funded by loans from in­ten­tional de­vel­op­ment part­ners.

He said N450 bil­lon re­leased as at the 31st of Oc­to­ber 2017 was only for the four month af­ter pass­ing the bud­get in May 2017.

Min­is­ter of state for petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachukwu while field­ing ques­tions said FG will con­tinue to ex­plore oil in the North­east be­cause of its obli­ga­tion to en­sure that any part there is any vis­i­ble sign of oil for ex­plo­ration, it will fol­low through.

He noted that the con­tri­bu­tion of oil to 2018 bud­getary rev­enue ex­pen­di­ture ex­pec­ta­tion is al­most 60%, “So a huge amount of re­spon­si­bil­ity still lies on oil.

Also the speak­ing, the Min­is­ter of fi­nance Kemi Adeo­sun said is­sue of tax payer’s ap­a­thy must be ad­dressed if the na­tion must move for­ward.

She said there are about 69mil­lion Nige­ri­ans cur­rently work­ing in one form of eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity but only 14 mil­lion pay tax in the coun­try. FLIGHT



Min­is­ter of Bud­get and Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma

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