2021 budget: FG targets N5bn from PPP initiatives in water sector

• Laments N178.145bn outstanding liabilities

The Federal Ministry of Water Resources, on Monday, unveiled plans to generate N5 billion revenue through the implementation of various programmes under Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and other sources in the 2021 fiscal year.

The Minister of Water Resources, Engr Suleiman Adamu, who spoke in Abuja, during the 2020 budget performance and 2021 budget defence held at the instance of the House Committee on Water Resources chaired by Hon Sada Soli, however, expressed concern over N178,144,768,680.09 outstanding liabilities.

From the total sum of N162,847,932,404 proposed budget for 2021, the main ministry proposed N1,956,539,571 for personnel cost, N278,665,581 for overhead cost and N87,569,571,066 for capital expenditure while other agencies proposed while N6,760,809,888 for personnel cost, N1,077,595,023 for overhead and N65,204,751,275 for capital projects in 2021 fiscal year.

The Minister said: “I want to once again bring to your recollection that during my appearance for the 2017 budget defence and subsequent appearances in different fora, I reiterated the fact that I inherited 116 projects with a total liability of N89 billion.

“When I assumed duty as Minister, I directed departments and parastatals under the ministry to be making provisions from their meagre envelops for the settlement of liabilities to enable us to reduce the level of our indebtedness.

“This is partly the reason why you will find those provisions in our proposals. We, therefore, tried as much as possible not to introduce new projects in our proposals in 2021, in our effort to keep the level of liabilities to the manageable level.

“As at today, the total outstanding liabilities for the main ministry is N178,144,768,680.09. In FY 2020 as revised, there is a provision of N1,074,367,114 for the settlement of liabilities, out of which the sum of N1,072,800,611.95 has been released and N991,409,050.60 had so far been utilised.

Engr. Adamu also noted that the ministry’ main source of revenue is tender fees. He, however, said, “It is sad to note that the main ministry has not generated anything from tender fees this year. This is partly attributable to the issue of COVID-19 pandemic, as we have yet to advertise for tender. However, the sum of N14,922,478.75 was generated from the sale of unserviceable items.”

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According to him, out of a total of N32,551,885,334 for capital allocation, the sum of N19,561,024,551 has so far been released, representing 60 per cent, while out of the total revised sum of N190,665,493. Approved for Ministry, the sum of N148,062,730.15 (representing 77.65 per cent) has so far been released for year 2020.

“It is pertinent to state here that the Overhead allocation, which dropped from N23,222,131.67 to N10,650,690.60 monthly, is grossly inadequate to cater for the ministry’s day-to-day activities,” the Minister added.

In 2020, the Minister disclosed that Federal Government generated revenue worth N1,920,551,472 from the concession of Gurara Phase 1 Multipurpose Dam Facility being implemented through Public Private Partnership, which represents 80% share of revenue due to Government while 20 per cent goes to the service provider.

While giving an update on the 2020 Zonal Intervention/Constituency Projects, Engr. Adamu noted that the Ministry has no allocation for Zonal Intervention Programmes in 2020 fiscal year, adding that the River Basin Development Authorities were allocated a total sum of N8,265,219,046.

The ministry generated N27,140,961.98 from tender fees in 2019, according to him.

In his intervention, Chairman, House Committee on Water Resources, Hon Sada Soli, requested for the breakdown of the Ministry’s expenses.

In his response, the Minister of Water Resources promised to provide relevant documents to the Committee for further consideration.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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