Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala yesterday insisted that 56 percent of the amount cash-backed in the 2012 budget has been implemented.
Reacting to the chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Media and Publicity, Zakari Mohammed, that only 34 percent of the budget has been implemented, the minister maintained her earlier statement on the 56 percent budget implementation.
A statement by the minister's spokesman, Paul Nwabuikwu, said transparency and prudence remained the key priorities of the Federal Government in the management of the budget.
She said out of the total capital budget of N1.3 trillion, N404 billion has been released and N324 billion cash-backed, out of which 56 percent has been utilized.
The House of Representatives had threatened to impeach President Goodluck Jonathan if 100 percent of the 2012 budget is not implemented by September but the minister reacted by saying that 100 percent budget implementation was not possible.
She said: "Nigerians should be reassured that the 2012 budget is being managed in a way that protects and enhances the best interests of the country.
"Our objective is to achieve both higher budget implementation and better management of the country's resources. We will not toy with public resources because they belong to all Nigerians".
She explained that the improvement in implementation ratio from 39.2 percent by the end of May to 56 percent utilisation of cash backed resources by June 20 was made possible by the direct leadership of Jonathan.
The minister said the ministry is careful and methodical in releasing funds to MDAs. She stressed that given the rate of utilisation, there is still room for more implementation.