Despite the threat and deployment of thousands of armed security personnel to stop the protest by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) against the mass sack of teachers and other workers allegedly numbering over 36,000, the protesters still took their protest to Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House.
The protesters, led by the NLC president, Ayuba Wabba, and other labour leaders from across the states, marched through the Independence Road, through Wharf Road and Ali Akilu Road and made their way to the government house in their thousands, carrying placards with varying inscriptions and chanting solidarity songs.
Meanwhile, the heavily armed security personnel, who had assembled at the entry points to the NLC secretariat, Kaduna, venue of the takeoff point of the rally, hurriedly moved to the gate of the government house apparently to prevent the protesters from gaining access to the government house.
Earlier, the NLC president had stressed that the organised labour would not relent in its efforts at ensuring that the rights of their members are protected in the state.
Meanwhile, some allegedly sponsored thugs were said to have been apprehended by the security personnel on their way to the Kaduna NLC secretariat.
Late Passage Hinders Effective Implementation Of 2017 Budget – Experts
..As Presidency seeks quick passage of 2018 budget
By solomon ayado, Mbakaan kwen, Abuja And KAYODE TOKEDE, Lagos
With the disbursement of N1.2 trillion on capital expenditure from the N2.2 trillion appropriated in 2017 budget, finance experts have blamed the late passage of the 2017 on poor performance, lamenting inadequate release of funds for the capital components of the budget.
They maintained that recurrent expenditure is expected to be fully met, while the implementation of the capital component of the 2017 budget remains a challenged. Barely six months after the 2017 budget was passed into the law, the federal government released N1.2 trillion for capital expenditure as at December 2017, nearly 55 per cent of the N2.2 trillion that was signed into law.
The federal government signed into law, the 2017 budget on June and that was when the capital budget started running; unlike the recurrent side that started at the beginning of the year. The National Assembly had passed the 2017 Appropriation Bill which has a total amount of N7. 44trillion with N2.2 trillion for capital projects
Details of the bill had shown that 30 per cent or N2.2 trillion was allocated to capital expenditure, while recurrent expenditure (non-debt) and debt service received N2.987 trillion and N1.84 trillion respectively. Key benchmark of the 2017 budget include Oil Price at $42.5 per barrel; Oil Production at 2.2 million barrels/day; foreign exchange rate at N305/$1; inflation at 12.92 per cent and Gross Domestic Growth of about 2.5 per cent.
President Buhari’s administration disbursed N336 billion in the first quarter of 2017 for capital projects as released by the Ministry of Finance. Before the end of 2017, the FG disbursed N750 billion for capital expenditure to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
Finance minister, Kemi Adeosun, had said, “Last year, we released N1.3 trillion of capital and so far this year we have released N450 billion and we will release another N750 billion and this will take the release to N1.2 trillion by the end of the year.”
In spite of the late passage of the 2017 Budget, implementation remains on track. Certain extraneous factors were responsible for the perceived poor implementation of the 2017 Budget by some groups.
Foremost among the factors is that the budget was affected by the late passage of the 2017 Appropriation Bill; but this affected only the Capital aspect of the budget, as statutory transfers, recurrent expenditures and debt service have been fully met in line with the budget.
Speaking with LEADERSHIP, an economist, Professor Uche Uwaleke, said the implementation of capital component in 2017 contributed to the positive Gross Domestic Product (GDP), urging government to be proactive in its implementation of the capital expenditure.
According to him, “No doubt, the implementation of the capital component in 2017, although left much to be desired, contributed to the positive GDP growths witnessed in the second and third quarters of the year after five quarters of negative growths in a row.