Funding is the greatest challenge the current administration is facing in implementing budgets, the Minister of Budget and National Planning Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma has said.
Speaking yesterday at the public presentation of the 2018 Appropriation Bill in Abuja, the minister told the stakeholders that the government is constrained in implementing key projects in the past due to the revenue shortfall.
“The primary problem of this country is revenue, what we have is revenue problem and that is why we are doing everything possible to increase our revenue collections.”
He said the federal government is expecting available revenue of N6.6 trillion for the year which is 30 per cent above the 2017 projection of N5.0tr.
Udoma explained that the collection of the Value Added Tax (VAT) and Company Income Tax (CIT) will drop by 14 and 2 per cent respectively in 2018 compared to 2017. He explained that in 2017 the government was able to collect the outstanding payments of the two taxes but there is no such provision in 2018 hence the reduction.
Majority of the of the projects in 2017 capital expenditure have to be rolled over to 2018 due to the paucity of fund, saying that 2017 capital budget was meant to be funded by loans from intentional development partners.
He said N450 billon released as at the 31st of October 2017 was only for the four month after passing the budget in May 2017.
Minister of state for petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachukwu while fielding questions said FG will continue to explore oil in the Northeast because of its obligation to ensure that any part there is any visible sign of oil for exploration, it will follow through.
He noted that the contribution of oil to 2018 budgetary revenue expenditure expectation is almost 60%, “So a huge amount of responsibility still lies on oil.
Also the speaking, the Minister of finance Kemi Adeosun said issue of tax payer’s apathy must be addressed if the nation must move forward.
She said there are about 69million Nigerians currently working in one form of economic activity but only 14 million pay tax in the country.