It was a war of words as a major shortfall in the 2016 budget was noticed on Tuesday by the joint National Assembly Committee on Appropriations.
It was discovered that about N1.12 trillion of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) was recorded as having been lost in the country.
The trouble began when officials, including the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, and the Director-General of the Budget Office, Ben Akabueze, made presentations before the committee during their appearance.
In separate papers, they submitted that “The Federal Government recorded a shortfall of N1.12trillion in the projected Internally General Revenue (IGR) for 2016 budget.
“However the 2016 budget has achieved 55 per cent implementation of the capital component with N870 billion already disbursed.”
But apparently not impressed, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Danjuma Goje, expressed sadness over the fact that such a huge amount of revenue could be lost in the country in one year.
The committee, though conceded on the grounds that the negative impact of the recession could have led to the losses, however, it wondered whether there had been a renewed measure towards finding solutions to the development.
“As we exit from recession, what measures is the government putting in place to have all loopholes plugged? This is because no economy grows without its internally generated revenue mechanism being given all needed push,” the Chairman stated.
Though unimpressed, the committee requested from the officials more details of the performance of the 2016 budget as a guide to following up the 2017 budget.