Senate President David Mark yesterday described Federal Government’s claims on the implementation of the 2012 budget as deceptive. Speaking at the 2013 budget defence of the Ministry of Agriculture, Mark said heads of ministries, departments and agencies were still in the habit of selective implementation of budget.
He blasted the Minister of Agriculture, Akinwunmi Adesina, for awarding constituency projects barely one month to the end of the 2012 fiscal year.
Mark said, “Statistics given by percentage (on budget implementation) never gives any real figure or perception or what is practically on ground. You have less than 30 days. What can you do? Budget performance is very low. We want to look at the performance based on the real number of people it has affected. At the end of the day, it is not the statistics on paper. If the statistics don’t translate to change in the lives of Nigerians, it has not done what it is supposed to do.”
Mark also queried the minister’s electronic wallet approach to fertiliser distribution, saying “I want to know how much fertiliser and seedlings went to the farmers directly through the new method you introduced.”
Responding, the minister said through the electronic wallet method, fertiliser had been distributed to about 1.2million farmers, 90 percent of whom were from the north. He put the 2013 budget estimate of the ministry at N47. 3billion out of which capital expenditure is N40.2bn; personnel costs, N6.7bn and overhead costs, N368.8 million.
Source: Daily Trust