By Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT
An analysis of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs (MoFEA) September 2022 Expenditure Report shows that seven Government Institutions have overspent while twenty-five underspent. The September 2022 Expenditure Report also highlights that the Government’s Local Fund (GLF) Expenditure exceeded D16 Billion Dalasis from January to the end of September 2022. It can be recalled that the Government cut D923 Million from the 2022 Approved Budget back in late July 2022. Parliamentarians approved the Revised 2022 Budget which authorised the Government to spend D22.7 billion instead of D23.7 billion.
It’s important to note that the MoFEA’s Expenditure Brief only provides GLF figures which do not include Loans and Grants. Seventy-Five per cent (Three Quarters) of the 2022 Revised GLF comes to D17.07 billion, however, the Government has only spent D16.04 billion from January to September 2022. This means that the Government is actually underspending by about D1.03 billion which represents 4.5% of the 2022 Revised GLF Funding.
The overspending Institutions include the Ministry of Information (109%), the Office of the President (91%), the Independent Electoral Commission (90%) and the Ministry of Works (90%) to name a few. On the other hand, the underspending Institutions include the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy (10%), the Ministry of Public Service (14%) and the National Audit Office (45%) to name a few.
January to September 2022 represents 75% of the year and it can be seen that all the overspending Institutions have spent more than this threshold with the Ministry of Communication actually spending more than its entire Appropriation for the year by 9.3%.
Looking back at the 2022 Approved Budget it can be seen that the Ministry of Communication may have been a victim of circumstances. The Ministry of Information, Communication and Infrastructure (MoICI) was recently split in May-July 2022 into two separate Ministries namely; the Ministry of Information (MoI) and the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy (MoCDE).
A close look at the 2022 Approved Budget shows that the Ministry of Information, Communication Infrastructure (before it was split) was actually allocated D70.79 million back in late 2021 and this was revised down to D24.3 million in late July 2022. This means that over D46 million was removed from the MoICI Budget which represents over 65% of the total amount approved in late 2021.
By the time the 2022 Revised Budget was tabled and approved the MoFEA’s January to end of July 2022 Expenditure Report revealed that the Ministry of Information Communication and Infrastructure (MoICI) had already spent D23.3 million.
At that stage, MoICI had actually spent only 32.9% of its 2022 Approved Budget. In essence slashing the MoICI budget into two, after seven months had already elapsed has made it appear to be overspending. The data below shows that in the first Seven months MoICI spent an average of D3.3 million under former Minister Hon Ebrima Sillah. However, since then the streamlined Ministry of Information spent an average of D1.6 million for two months under newly appointed Minister Hon Lamin Queen Jammeh.
On the other hand, it can be seen that the two newly formed Ministries are currently both underspending. It takes time to hire new staff, secure an Office and begin implementing programs for a new Ministry. Hence, the newly created Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy and the Ministry of Public Service has only spent 10.1% and 14.3% of their 2022 Revised Approved Appropriation since they became fully functional in August 2022. They are the two lowest-spending Institutions.
Below is a chart of all GLF Expenditures from January to September 2022.