To ensure progress in achieving the country’s infrastructural priorities, the Federal Ministry of Finance has released an initial N100 billion to ministries, departments and agencies as part of the approved budget for the 2nd quarter of 2012.This is in addition to the N304 billion which the MDAs received for the first quarter.
A statement by Paul C Nwabuikwu, senior special assistant to the minister of finance said these facts were given by the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala while giving an update on budgetary releases and related issues during a press briefing earlier today.
The briefing was also attended by the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr J Otunla and the Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Dr Bright Okogu.
She explained that the first quarter performance utilisation by the MDAs stands at 39%, a modest rate which is explained by the fact that the 2011 fiscal year only came to an end in March.
She expressed optimism that the utilisation rate will increase in significantly in subsequent quarters.
Stressing the fundamental health of the Nigerian economy, the minister declared: “The country is paying its bills and meeting its obligations. There are challenges in terms of processes and systems but these do not translate to the country being broke.”
She repeated her contribution to the Federal Executive Council earlier in the week when she stressed that the country needs to build up her financial buffers in response to the recession in Europe and America whose effects are already being felt in other parts of the world.
On delays in paying some salaries to some civil servants, Dr Okonjo-Iweala emphasised that the government is going full throttle to fix the glitches which have accompanied that introduction of the GIFMIs payment system as soon as possible.
On specifics, the Minister explained that from about 5000 staff who were affected by delayed payments the number has been whittled down to about 300 and that the Office of the Accountant General and related agencies have been given marching others to expedite action so that no civil servant is inconvenienced anymore. In her words:
“One civil servant whose salary is delayed is one too many. People should get their salaries without any trouble because salaries are the reward for service. How do you expect people and their families to survive without salaries? A situation where even one staff has not been paid without good reason is simply not good enough. We must find a solution to this problem.”
No tags for this post.