The South East Governors’ Forum, SEGF, has flayed the Federal Government for poor and sectional implementation of capital projects in 2017 Appropriation Act, pointing out that the performance of the 2017 budget in the zone showed that the construction of second Niger Bridge was not included in the budget.
They claimed that a report on the performance of the 2017 budget of the Federal Government in the zone showed that the much celebrated construction of second Niger Bridge in Onitsha, Anambra State, has never been budgeted for.
They also lamented that the zone had been lagging behind in the implementation of federal government budgets when compared to other geopolitical zones in the country.
The governors noted that the unfortunate aspect of the 2017 federal capital budget implementation thrust was the inequitable nature of the focal sectors that should drive the achievement of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP, in the zone.
These were contained in a monitoring report of the implementation of the capital budget across the South East geopolitical zone for the 2017 approved budget of the Federal Government presented by “Voice to the People,” a programme sponsored by UKaid in partnership with SEGF and the Institute for Development Studies, IDS, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, among others.
According to the report, they monitored the projects in communities in Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo states under the 2017 budget through citizens’ support, in line with the best practices on public finance, which Open Governance Partnership, OGP, promotes.
It read: “The findings reveal a less than 50 percent budget implementation. One hundred and fifty projects were monitored. Findings show that 30.52 per cent were completed and put in use; 15.24 percent are completed but not in use, 24.13 percent are ongoing and have achieved 50 percent completion, 11.73 percent are ongoing, but below 50 percent completion, while 0.91 percent are poorly executed and failed.”
The governors, who spoke through the Director General of their Forum, Prof. Simeon Otuanya, noted that the budgets were designed to ensure the restoration of the Nigerian economy on the path of robust and sustainable growth across various sectors and geographical spaces around the country, stressing that it should fulfill expectations of the public.
They asked the government to effectively carry the zone along in the implementation of the 2018 budget, insisting that the people of the area were being alienated.
“We believe that such re-balancing must take into consideration the concepts of equity and fairness vertically and horizontally in other to develop every nook and cranny of the country. We will continue to work as think-tanks to review budget allocations and implementations at the state and national levels for all the years forward with special interest on how they are helping the region towards economic renaissance,” the South-East governors said.
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