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BudgIT: 316 capital projects worth N39.5bn duplicated in 2021 budget

Speaking on the report, Gabriel Okeowo, BudgIT’s CEO, said out of the identified 316 duplicated projects, 115 are in the ministry of health.

BudgIT, a civic-tech non-profit organisation, says it has uncovered 316 duplicated capital projects worth N39.5 billion in the 2021 budget.

ln a statement, Iyanu Fatoba, communications associate at BudgIT, said the organisation’s findings is contained in its publication titled, “Demanding Budget Reforms for Resource Optimization”, released on Tuesday.

On December 31, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the 2021 appropriation bill of N13.588 trillion into law.

“Even worse, agencies now receive allocations for capital projects they cannot execute.”

The signing was done more than a week after federal lawmakers passed the budget and raised its total sum by N508 billion.

Speaking on the report, Gabriel Okeowo, BudgIT’s CEO, said out of the identified 316 duplicated projects, 115 are in the ministry of health.

He said the development is “very disturbing” as the country is battling a deficit in health infrastructure across the 36 states.

Okeowo added the some ministries also received approvals for projects outside the scope of their mandate.

“Our investigations into the 2021 budget revealed at least 316 duplicated capital projects worth N39.5bn, with 115 of those duplicate projects occurring in the Ministry of Health. This is very disturbing especially considering the health infrastructure deficit and the raging COVID-19 pandemic affecting Nigeria,” he said.

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“Even worse, agencies now receive allocations for capital projects they cannot execute. For example, the National Agriculture Seed Council has an allocation for N400m to construct solar street lights across all six geopolitical zones, while the Federal College of Forestry in lbadan in Oyo State got N50m for the construction of street lights in Edo State.”

According to BudgIT, in the 2021 budget, a total of 117 federal agencies received allocations for “security votes” worth N24.3 billion.

It said this is despite many agencies already having allocations for “security charges” to cover each agency’s security needs.

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