The budgetary provision for the State House, Aso Rock Presidential Villa in the 2017 fiscal year has been reviewed downward by the Federal Government.

This was disclosed by the Permanent Secretary of the State House Mr. Jalal Arabi yesterday. According to him, the government has re-prioritised projects in its Medical Centre and suspended most of its capital expenditure proposals in this year.

He said the budget for the State House has been reviewed downward from N16.567billion to N13.567billion in the 2017 appropriation billion currently before the National Assembly.

This was disclosed when members of the House Committee on Special Duties led by Nasir Daura, visited for their oversight to the State House.

Arabi also said the 2017 budget has become less ambitious than the 2016 appropriation as personnel, overhead and capital costs were minimally reviewed upwards.

He said: “The state house estimates are all based on existing projects that are classified as ongoing and that are simply rolled over from the 2016 appropriation and so, have the potential of being reduced in case additional releases are made for the projects before the end of the extended implementation period (March 2017).

“There is therefore no newly conceived project for the 2017. “We have equally re-prioritised the State House Medical Centre projects which are undergoing a review, hence the suspension of all the capital expenditure proposals for now. We shall however take advantage of the supplementary budget widow when necessary.”

He told the lawmakers that that it had received a total of N5.19billion as capital release from its approved 2016 Budget. This represents 47.5 per cent of the N10.94billion of the presidency’s capital budget for the year, thus leaving a balance of N5.74 billion (52.5%) yet to be released. He said that of the amount released, N4.8 billion (93.1%) has so far been expended on the capital projects for which the funds were appropriated.

A move in the right direction.

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