From: Bamidele Fashube
THE Federal Government has approved the sum of N280.13 billion (N280,315,513,553) as 2021 fiscal spending for the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) and various agencies and research institutes under it.
From the allocated sum, N211.07 billion (N211,077,457,584) was set aside for capital projects in the approved budget. The personnel and overhead cost include N66,031,435,074 and N3,206,620,895 respectively.
The Ministry headquarters alone got N78.81 billion as its total allocation. Over 70 per cent of the allocated sum which is N71,026,340,846 is set aside for capital projects while the personnel attracted N7,305,454,205. The ministry’s overhead only got N483,209,619.
Meanwhile, findings revealed that the 2021 budgetary funding is much higher than 2020 repealed and enacted budget of the entire ministry.
Due to the Coronavirus Disease pandemic which affected government revenues, the federal government in 2020 had to review budgets of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in line with current realities as of then.
As a result, the FMARD budget was trimmed down. The ministry got N57.96 billion (N57,964,818,432) recurrent while the reviewed capital allocation stood at N102.49 billion (N102,493,492,597).
However, some of the new budget line-ups include the promotion of different value-chains with allocated sums.
These value-chains are tagged on-going which implies, they have been getting budgetary allocations before this year’s budget. Promotion of Wheat Value Chain N658.73 million; promotion of soya beans N393.72 million; promotion and development of fisheries and aquaculture also got N473.47 million while promotion of maize value chain had N412.76 million.
Others are the promotion of Castor N168.34, promotion of animal husbandry got N466.96 as budgetary allocations; vegetables value-chain N272.04; Cocoa value-chain N339.44; Yam value-chain N260.51; Cassava value-chain N411.36; Cowpea Value-chain N258.98 among others.
Nevertheless, in the 2021 budget, AgroNature identified some suspicious allocations. These include budget line (23020106) which highlights the Construction of Hospitals and Health Centres at N171 million, construction of blocks of classrooms of three (3) classes at various zones nationwide at N800 million and the ‘supply/installation of solar-powered street lights across markets and other areas in Ogun West Senatorial District, Ogun State at N200 million.