BudgIT Foundation, a leading civic-tech organisation promoting transparency, accountability, and effective service delivery in Nigeria, has revealed that its detailed review of the proposed N27.5 trillion 2024 budget showed that the budgets of some key revenue-generating government entities are conspicuously missing in the budget.
BudgIT made the revelation in its review report of the budget titled ‘2024 Budget: Issues Begging for Attention’ and published on its website.
It listed some of the key revenue-generating government entities whose budgets are not disclosed in the 2024 proposed budget to include the Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigeria Customs Service, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NiMASA), National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) and the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc (NSPM).
BudgIT had raised concerns over the proposed 2024 budget presented to the National Assembly by President Bola Tinubu for approval.
BudgIT which highlighted what it described as alarming issues and discrepancies in the 2024 budget called for a review of the budget, stating that one significant observation it made is the absence of crucial budget breakdowns from the National Assembly, government-owned enterprises and some ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
BudgIT also in August itemised what it described as 10 plagues that President Bola Tinubu’s administration had to avoid in the 2024 budget and process to ensure value for money, curb inefficient expenditure and waste, enforce accountability, and put Nigeria on the pathway of prosperity, economic growth, and development.
It however stated in the report that unfortunately, having reviewed the proposed 2024 budget breakdown, it observed that Tinubu’s administration continued with some “deleterious budget practices from previous regimes that fostered corruption, underdevelopment, unemployment, and multidimensional poverty.”
BudgIT stated that the breakdown of the National Assembly budgets revealed that some Government-Owned Entities (GOEs) and Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) were missing in the 2024 proposed budget.
BudgIT said, “The unwillingness of GOEs and MDAs to submit their budgets to public scrutiny and evaluation prevents the expansion of government revenues and the effective utilization of government expenditure.
“Withholding serious information on GOEs’ earnings and expenditures erodes the public and the wider global economy’s ability to engage with, understand, and invest in the domestic economy.
“For instance, there is no breakdown of the National Assembly, the Niger Delta Development Commission and the North East Development Commission’s budget.
“For emphasis, the budgets of key revenue-generating government entities—including the Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigeria Customs Service, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NiMASA), National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc (NSPM), to mention a few—are conspicuously missing from the proposed 2024 budget presented to the National Assembly.”
It continued, “While the political class might think divulging information on budgets, revenue, spending, implementation, and debt would amount to too much disclosure of fiscal information, BudgIT thinks the reverse is true.
“Making such important data public would foster confidence in the system and lead to GOEs becoming more transparent and potentially encouraging accountability.”
BudgIT further revealed that the breakdown of the proposed 2024 budget sums up to N24.08 trillion, which suggests a difference of N3.42 trillion not accounted for when compared to the N27.5 trillion aggregate budget the President presented to the National Assembly.
It said, “BudgIT suspects that the aforementioned difference comprises the aggregate budgets of the Government-Owned Enterprises.
“To this effect, BudgIT posits that the Government-Owned Enterprises’ proposed revenue and expenditures require disaggregation.
“Historically, the revenues and expenditures of several Government-Owned Enterprises have been absent from formal budget presentations.
“Former President Muhammadu Buhari promised to ensure all MDAs and GOEs budgets are present in the annual appropriation bill and defended and assented to publicly.
“This was not implemented before the end of his tenure, and the Tinubu administration has carried on with business as usual, which clearly indicates the need for more Government-Owned Enterprises’ budget implementation reports.”