The Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris has decried poor and inadequate release of 2018 budget to government ministries and parastatals, saying it has hampered their operations.
Ahmed Idris said record of releases for previous administrations showed that poor and inadequate releases of the 2018 budget by this government has never been so in the history of Nigeria.
The Office of the Accountant General of the Federation is responsible for disbursement of funds to government ministries, agencies and parastatals.
He, however, added that the budget of the AG’s office was reduced in line with government circulars to cut costs.
“Distinguished Chairman, Members of the Committee, we budgeted the sum of N4.764 billion for 2019 which we have reduced personnel cost by N96.9 million: while capital was reduced by N362. 69 million”, he said.
However, the Minister of Finance Hajia Aisha Abubakar earlier told the Committee that releases to her Ministry and departments under her watch was near 100%.
She revealed that they got 100% budget releases as against other MDAs as a result of reforms carried out by the Ministry of Finance.
She explained in response to questions posed by the Committee Chairman on Finance, Senator John Owen Enoh.
“Distinguished Chairman, we got our full releases not because we are the Finance Ministry, but because of reforms carried out which made it easy for us access funds. ”
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance stressed that the Ministry would replace all the five generators powering the ministry in the current budget, saying that the cost of maintenance has become unbearable for the ministry.
“Distinguished Chairman, we intend to replace all the 5 generators after they were installed twelve years ago.”
“It cost the ministry so much to maintain the generators as a result of old age. “