Nigeria’s capital expenditure as a percentage of total spending came to around 11 percent in 2016, less than half of the planned 30 percent as outlined in the year’s budget, according to Central Bank data.
The 12-month total for capital outlays of N0.61 trillion fell short of the planned N1.2 trillion for the said year, which admittedly ran through to 06 May 2017.
Beset by its fiercest economic recession in over two decades, Nigeria set out to increase public spending on infrastructure, to stimulate business activity and grease the wheels of an economy that had ground to a halt.
The 2017 budget will get off to a similar foot as the preceding budget, with officials retaining plans to spend 30 percent of total expenditure on capital projects from rail to roads. Capital and total expenditure is budgeted to hit N2.24 trillion and N7.44 trillion respectively.
“The challenge, once the president has signed off the 2017 budget, becomes to make the capital releases as soon as possible, while bettering the record of past administrations for delivering value for monies spent,” said Chinwe Egwim, a fixed income analyst at investment bank, FBN Quest.
A breakdown of the ministry’s total of N1.2 trillion for 2016 shows that the power, works and housing ministry was the largest beneficiary, receiving N0.31 trillion (N433.4 billion).
Similar priority is given to the three-in-one ministry headed by 53-year old former governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, as it is set to receive N0.55 trillion.
Recurrent expenditure will gulp a total of N3 trillion.
Africa’s largest economy contracted by 1.5 percent in 2016, after oil prices fell and production was sabotaged by militants who vandalised pipelines.
State data agency, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) is scheduled to publish Q1 2017 GDP on May 30. Expectations are for a modest growth of around 1 percent.