The allocation for capital expenditure in the budget estimates of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture as contained in the 2016 Appropriation Bill is 434.7 per cent higher than what was approved for the ministry in 2015.
An analysis of the ministry’s budget estimate for this year shows that the Federal Government has increased the capital allocation for agriculture by N38.21bn.
A total of N47bn was allocated for capital expenditure in the 2016 Appropriation Bill, in contrast to the N8.79bn approved for the sector in the 2015 Appropriation Act.
But on the other hand, the Federal Government reduced the ministry’s allocation for recurrent expenditure by N2.12bn, down from N31.87bn approved in 2015 to N29.75bn as proposed in the bill.
The summation of the recurrent and capital allocations in the new Appropriation Bill gives a total N76.75bn for the 2016 fiscal year, as against the N40.66bn that was approved in 2015.
The PUNCH had reported increases in the 2016 budgetary allocations for the ministries of Transportation and Power, Works and Housing by the Federal Government when compared to what was approved for them in 2015.
For instance, findings by our correspondent showed that the budget for the Federal Ministry of Transportation as contained in the 2016 Appropriation Bill was over 1,000 per cent higher than what was approved for both the Transport and Aviation ministries in the 2015 Appropriation Act.
Similarly, the budget for the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing in 2016 is over 700 per cent higher than the combined budgets of the ministries of Power, Works, and Lands, Housing and Urban Development last year.
Speaking on the budgetary allocations for agriculture and some other key sectors, a former President, Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, Dr. Samuel Nzekwe, told our correspondent that the capital expenditure component was in order.
He said, “It is a good beginning. It is a right step in the right direction to increase capital expenditure for key sectors like agriculture, power and transport. I say this because some years back when subsidy was partially removed, the transport sector felt the most impact of that adjustment.
“Farmers who transport their goods had to pay much and this led to hike in the cost of food. So, increasing the budget for the transport and agriculture sectors is a laudable initiative that should be encouraged by all.”