President Buhari Presents Proposed 2021 Budget Of N13tn

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has presented the proposed 2021 Budget of N13 trillion to the National Assembly.

According to the president, the budget termed Budget Of Economic Recovery and Resilience will address key economic issues as the country tries to recover from the impact of the coronavirus and the oil price drop.

He says the government is determined to accelerate the country’s economic recovery process, while decrying the revenue generation challenges.

Compared to budget presentations done in previous years, the President was only accompanied by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and a few ministers, while the others participated virtually.


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According to Senate President Ahmed Lawan, the new arrangement became necessary in order to maintain social distancing during the presentation, as a result of the COVID-19.

Before presenting the proposed budget, the President gave a breakdown of the performance of the 2020 budget.


A section of the lawmakers, listen to Buhari’s presentation of the 2021 budget on Thursday.

Live Updates.

11:10 am: The event commenced with both Christian and Muslim prayers.

11:15 am:  Senate President Ahmed Lawan addresses the lawmakers. He also notes that while the 2020 budget focussed on job creation and economic stability among other things, the 2021 budget is targetted at the consolidating on the of gains on the 2020 budget.

 

 

11:20 am: President Buhari addresses the House on the performance of the 2020 budget.

He notes that the challenging global and economic environment had major implications on the nation.

He, however, highlights that the government did not relent on its effort at poverty alleviation and job creation. One of which included the Public Works Programme.

The President adds that despite the challenges, the government has delivered on key polices, programmes and projects.

Buhari presents 2021 budget on Thursday

 

 

He says the 2021 budget is tagged the budget of economic recovery and resilience.

According to the president, “the main thrust of the 2021 budget is to complete as many ongoing projects as possible,” while giving priority to the ones that most affect the people.

 

 

12: 13 pm: Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila, gives a closing address.

He says the House will collaborate with all relevant ministries and agencies to ensure speedy implementation of the 2021 budget.

12: 24 pm: The House rises for the National Anthem.

 

President Buhari bows out after presenting the 2021 budget on Thursday.

Thank You For Joining This Live Presentation

President Buhari To Present Proposed 2021 Budget Of N13tn Today

 

President Muhammadu Buhari will be presenting the 2021 Budget to the National Assembly today.

The exercise is billed to hold at 11:00 am and is only expected to last for about an hour.

Senate President Ahmed Lawan announced this on Wednesday while giving conditions to guide the budget presentation.

He said because of the COVID-19, arrangements are being made to ensure social distancing in the House, and all participants are mandated to wear face masks.

The number of people attending will also be reduced compared to budget presentations done in previous years.

According to Lawan, only ‘key and relevant people’ will be allowed by the Senate to accompany President Buhari to the National Assembly and those of them that have little to do with the budget will join virtually.

Read Also: Budget Presentation Event Will Be Abridged Due To COVID-19 – Senate

The Federal Executive Council had last Wednesday after its weekly meeting estimated the budget to be N13.08trn for the 2021 fiscal year.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this to journalists at the Presidential Villa.

The breakdown of the proposed budget is N13.08 trillion total aggregate; expenditure (29% Capex), with a deficit of N4.48 trillion; FX: N379/$; and GDP growth targeted at 3%.

Before President Buhari submits the proposed budget, the lawmakers are also expected to consider and pass the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).

Budget Presentation Event Will Be Abridged Due To COVID-19 – Senate

 

The Senate has announced that the budget presentation event will be abridged and last for only one hour.

Senate President Ahmed Lawan made this announcement on Wednesday while giving conditions to guide the budget presentation by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said because of COVID-19, arrangements are being made to ensure social distancing in the House, and all participants are mandated to wear face masks.

READ ALSO: InterOcean Oil Deal: US Tribunal Relieves FG Of $1.5b Liability

The number of people attending will also be reduced compared to budget presentations done in previous years.

Only ‘key and relevant people’ will be allowed by the Senate to accompany President Buhari to the National Assembly for the event and those of them that have little to do with the budget will join virtually.

The budget presentation is scheduled to take place on Thursday with President Buhari presenting the 2021 budget at a joint sitting of lawmakers of both chambers.

In a letter read by Lawan on Tuesday at the resumption of plenary, President Buhari has requested the audience of lawmakers in both chambers for the presentation of the budget.

The Senate is expected to consider and pass the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) before President Buhari submits the 2021 budget.

2020 Budget Presentation In Photos

PHOTOS: Sodiq Adelakun/ChannelsTV

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday presented the budget for the 2020 fiscal year to the joint session of the National Assembly.

While presenting the budget, the president described it as a budget of Fiscal Consolidation to strengthen Nigeria’s macroeconomic environment; investing in critical infrastructure, human capital development and enabling institutions, especially in key job-creating sectors.

See photos below.

2017 Budget: Analysts Task Nasarawa Govt. On Proper Implementation

2017 Budget: Analysts Task Nasarawa Govt. On Proper ImplementationPublic analysts have called on the Nasarawa state government to put modalities in place for proper implementation of 2017 budget by ministries, agencies and parastatals.

They bared their minds in separate exclusive interviews in Nasarawa and Toto local government areas of Nasarawa state.

They noted that if the budget is not fully implemented, it would not meet the yearning and aspirations of the people of the state.

The 2017 budget of 67 billion Naira was presented on the December 15 by the Governor, Mr Tanko Al-makura, to the House of Assembly tagged: “budget of reformation”.

The budget is expected to be worked on, as soon as the House members resume sitting on January 15, 2017, before it will be assented by the governor and become a law, to pave way for the government to carry out it’s mandate of implementation for the benefit of electorates.

To this end, the analysts have called on the government to put adequate measures in place to monitor it’s implementation by Ministries, agencies and parastatals.

The analysts, Mohammed Musa and Attahiru Abdullahi, both appealed to ministries, agencies and parastatals not to operate outside the box when the budget becomes a law.

“They should consider the economic recession currently being experienced and they should make use of whatever is going to be made available to them judiciously”

“Getting a smaller figure than that of 2016 means that we are more focused on what we want to do now, we are focused on some set targets”

“If we align to the items that aggravate all of these and focus on them, I think that will definitely move the state forward,” they said.

They however scored high the performance of the 2016 budget and expressed optimism that if the 2017 budget is implemented accordingly, it will reposition the state to enviable heights.

Head of Department, Public Administration, Federal Polytechnic, Nasarawa, Ahmad Sani Yanga, gave a blue print to the state government on how to record success in the implementation of the 2017 budget.

“Government should not run on a deficit revenue because that is the area where we have problem, as far as government is concerned.

“By the time government runs on a revenue deficit, it means that it must increase taxation, so government must have to adhere strictly and must caution all ministries and agencies to implement the budget properly” he said.

The polytechnic don disagreed with the view that the decrease in the 2017 budget will not meet up the yearning of the people.

Yanga is of the view that the success of a budget lies on the implementation strategy and not the volume of the amount proposed.

He also called on the government to prioritise agriculture in order to boost food production in the state, adding that a hungry state is prone to social ills.

Obaseki To Present Edo State’s 2017 Budget On Monday

Godwin Obaseki To Present Edo State's 2017 Budget On MondayEdo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki will on Monday present the 2017 budget appropriation bill to the state House of Assembly for consideration.

The Chairman, House Committee on Budget Appropriation, Damian Lawani, revealed this to newsmen after a meeting of the Executive and Legislative Joint Committee at the weekend in Benin.

He said the proposed Monday’s budget presentation followed the agreement by Executive and Legislative Joint Committee on the Edo State 2017 budget, after all grey areas had been captured.

Lawani said that the meeting became necessary to ensure that all the good intentions of the new administration is properly captured before presentation.

“You are aware that Mr. Governor wrote a letter to us last week intending to present the budget on Friday, but going through the budget, we saw the need for us – executive and legislative arms of government to meet and finalize the details of the appropriation bill before presentation on Monday.

“There are areas in the appropriation bill that need to be touched. That is why both teams are here to put finishing touches to the budget. By Monday we should be ready for presentation,” Lawani said.

Lawmaker Says Executive Has Poor Understanding Of 2016 Budget

2016 Budget
Honourable Abdulmumin Jibrin said the National Assembly says it helped the Executive Arm of Government to clean up the budget

A Nigerian lawmaker, who played a major role in the scrutiny of the 2016 budget submitted to the National Assembly, has dismissed claims that lawmakers allegedly distorted the budget and removed the Calabar-Lagos rail project.

He said that the House had on the contrary helped the Executive Arm of Government to regularise the budget, insisting that the executive had no understanding of the document.

After the National Assembly passed the budget and returned it to the executive, there were reports, quoting the executive as saying that the rail project was removed and that the budget was tilted to favour some parts of Nigeria.

One of the reports had quoted the executive as saying that the National Assembly distorted the budget and removed the 60 billion Naira meant for the Calabar- Lagos rail project.

Defending the National Assembly’s input in the budget, Honourable Abdulmumin Jibrin, said they did a thorough job on the budget.

“We gave the ministers opportunity to defend their budget before the committee came up with a good report which we studied, placing it side by side with the submission of the executive.

“What we sent to the Executive Arm of Government is an implementable budget.

“I was shocked that such statement can actually come out. I have stated yesterday (Sunday) evening that the rail project was not included in the submission that came to the National Assembly neither was it included in the report of the committee. We do not have the Calabar-Lagos rail project in any of the documents submitted to the National Assembly.

“The national assembly cannot remove what is not there.

“It is very obvious that some people want to set Nigerians in collision with one another. It is a very sad situation and we need to actually be more patriotic to the country,” he stated.

On the claim that some pars of Nigeria were favoured, Honourable Jibrin dismissed the claim, saying “the fact that I am the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee does not exclude people of Kano from being Nigerians. If any project goes to Kano or my constituency, it is very unfair for anyone to start complaining simply because I am Chairman of Appropriation Committee.

“The reality of the matter is that we did not try to corner anything. Projects are spread across”.

“They Don’t Even Have A Budget”

The lawmaker said that the National Assembly had helped the executive to correct the budget and address the confusion created by the document which he attributed to the fact that it was prepared by a task force.

“I do not believe that the Executive Arm of Government really understand the document they sent to the National Assembly or they have even properly studied the document that we sent back to them.

“In the first place you saw all the confusion, from the point of preparing the budget to the controversy of bringing the budget to the National Assembly and accusation of trying to pull out the budget from the National Assembly through subterranean means.

“Then again the President bringing another version of the budget to the National Assembly and that very new version was what head of Ministries Department and Agencies, Ministers and the rest came to the National Assembly to disown.

“So, if you want to even look at it from that dimension, you will see they don’t even have a budget,” he insisted.

2016 Budget
President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma looking through the budget

Honourable Jibrin defended his claims further, saying: “Now, I give you an example. Why I am giving you this background is for you to understand when a statement comes from that part of the government, we should begin to think, do they even understand the document?

“Yesterday’s evening, the same Minister of Transport was still arguing with the Speaker at the Presidential Villa that the Calabar-Lagos rail project was included in the budget. It tells you he does not understand the budget”.

He alleged that the beginning of the confusion was the attempt of Ministers, who came in after the budget had been prepared by the permanent secretaries in charge of the ministries, to alter the budget.

“The whole responsibility was taken away from the budget office. A task force was set up to prepare a budget headed by a Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of budget and that task force was powered by the consultant that was brought in to implement the zero budgeting system.

“At the end of the day, the poor Director General of the budget office was sacrificed, used as a scapegoat. Now they want to use the National Assembly as a second scapegoat and we are saying no. You can’t use us. We are not part of it.

“You created all the confusion there. We have helped you to manage it but again, when you try to drag us into that, we are not going to accept it,” he further claimed.

He said that the committee discovered that the total sum of the Ministry of Transport was poorly calculated, which he blamed on the task force.

“The budget was overblown by 54 billion Naira. In the line items, there was nothing like Calabar-Lagos. What we have was Lagos-Kano, a rail line from the southern part of the country to the northern part. It was underfunded and we took a portion of that 54 billion to complete Lagos-Kano rail project so that we can be done with that. And now, with the total amount we have for that project, it can be completed.”

On the ramming funds, he said that money was not provided for airport security and navigation equipment, which the National Assembly decided to appropriate funds for from the excess fund.

“It is only when we have air crashes and the rest that we start complaining and we took part of that money to carter for that necessities and the remaining part of the money was invested in Baro Port to open up the port.

“We need just a few billions to put in Baro and in the next eight months, the President will commission the Baro Port and this will open up the economy and create opportunities,” he told Channels television.

 

Full Text Of President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2016 Budget Address

PROTOCOLS

I am honoured and privileged to present the 2016 Budget proposal. This is my first address before this joint session of the National Assembly. I have come here today, not only to address members of the National Assembly, but also to speak directly to the men and women who placed us here.

2. I know the state of our economy is a source of concern for many. This has been further worsened by the unbridled corruption and security challenges we have faced in the last few years. From those who have lost their jobs, to those young people who have never had a job, to the people in the North East whose families and businesses were destroyed by insurgents, this has been a difficult period in our nation’s history, lessons that we must not forget or ignore, as we plan for the future.

3. By June 2014, oil prices averaged $112 per barrel. But as at today, the price is under $39 per barrel. This huge decline is having a painful effect on our economy. Consumption has declined at all levels. In both the private and public sectors, employers have struggled to meet their salary and other employee related obligations. The small business owners and traders have been particularly hard hit by this state of affairs.

4. Fellow Nigerians, the confidence of many might be shaken. However, I stand before you today promising that we will secure our country, rebuild our economy, and make the Federal Republic of Nigeria stronger than it has ever been.

5. The answers to our problems are not beyond us. They exist on our farmlands; our corporations; in the universities in the hearts and minds of our entrepreneurs; through the gallantry of our Armed Forces; and the resolute spirit of Nigerians, especially the youth, who have refused to give up despite all the obstacles confronting them.

6. This Budget proposal, the first by our Government, seeks to stimulate the economy, making it more competitive by focusing on infrastructural development; delivering inclusive growth; and prioritizing the welfare of Nigerians. We believe that this budget, while helping industry, commerce and investment to pick up, will as a matter of urgency, address the immediate problems of youth unemployment and the terrible living conditions of the extremely poor and vulnerable Nigerians.

7. In the medium to longer term, we remain committed to economic diversification through import substitution and export promotion. This will build resilience in our economy. It will guarantee that the problems we have today, will not confront our children and their children. This shall be our legacy for generations to come.

2015: A Year of Global and Domestic Challenges

8. Today, it is widely acknowledged that the global economy has slowed down. This is particularly the case with emerging markets such as Nigeria. However, despite the weak emerging market growth rates, our domestic security challenges, declining oil prices, and the attendant difficulties in providing foreign exchange to meet market demands, the Nigerian economy grew by 2.84% in the third quarter of 2015.

9. We have, and will continue to implement strategies that will maintain macroeconomic stability and manage the oil price shocks we are experiencing.

10. Upon the inauguration of this administration on 29th May 2015, we engaged key stakeholders from various sectors of our economy and interfaced with the heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in order to understand the true state of our nation. What we found prompted us to take certain strategic decisions.

11. On the economy, we injected new leadership at the helm of our revenue generating agencies including the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS). We implemented the Treasury Single Account (TSA) which, so far, has provided greater visibility of Government revenues and cash flows. We intervened to support States to navigate their fiscal challenges by restructuring their commercial bank loans and by providing facilities to enable them to pay salary arrears.

12. We have demonstrated a strong will to fight corruption. I am sure you will agree that the sheer scale of corruption and impunity of the past explains in part, the economic challenges we now face. On these initiatives, and the many more to come, we shall not be deterred. We will pursue the recovery of everything that belongs to the people of Nigeria. No matter where it is hidden. No matter how long it will take.

2015 Budget Performance

13. Distinguished and honourable members of the National Assembly, I now present a review of the 2015 Budget. That Budget was based on a benchmark oil price of $53 per barrel, oil production of 2.28 million barrels per day and an exchange rate of N190 to the US$.

14. The projected revenue was N3.45 trillion, with an outlay of N4.49 trillion, implying a deficit of N1.04 trillion. Due largely to under-provisioning by the previous administration for fuel subsidy and the costs required to support the military operations in the North East, the Government had to obtain National Assembly’s approval for a supplementary budget of N575.5 billion. I take this opportunity to thank all members of the National Assembly for the prompt passage of that Bill.

2016: Budget Assumptions

15. After reviewing the trends in the global oil industry, we have set a benchmark price of $38 per barrel and a production estimate of 2.2 million barrels per day for 2016. We have focused on non-oil revenues by broadening our tax base and improving the effectiveness of our revenue collecting agencies.

16. Also, with the full implementation of the Treasury Single Account, we expect significant improvements in the collection and remittance of independent revenues. To further support the drive for increased remittances, we will ensure that all MDAs present their budgets in advance, and remit their operating surpluses as required by section 22 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act.

17. We are determined to ensure that our resources are managed prudently and utilized solely for the public good. To set the proper tone, one of our early decisions was the adoption of a zero based budgeting approach, which ensures that resources are aligned with Government’s priorities and allocated efficiently. This budgeting method, a clear departure from previous budgeting activities, will optimize the impact of public expenditure.

18. In addition to the proper linkage of budgeting to strategic planning, we are enhancing the utilization of the Government Integrated Financial Management Information Systems (GIFMIS) to improve financial management. The recently established Efficiency Unit is working across MDAs to identify and eliminate wasteful spending, duplication and other inefficiencies. We engaged costing experts to scrutinize the 2016 budget proposals. They have already identified certain cost areas that can be centralized for economies to be made.

19. We have directed the extension of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) to all MDAs to reap its full benefits. We will also strengthen the controls over our personnel and pension costs with the imminent introduction of the Continuous Audit Process (CAP). These initiatives will ensure personnel costs are reduced. Our commitment to a lean and cost effective government remains a priority, and the initiatives we are introducing will signal a fundamental change in how Government spends public revenue.

2016: Laying the Foundation for Sustainable Growth

20. The 2016 budget, as outlined, is designed to ensure that we revive our economy, deliver inclusive growth to Nigerians and create a significant number of jobs.

21. We aim to ensure macroeconomic stability by achieving a real GDP growth rate of 4.37% and managing inflation. To achieve this, we will ensure the aligning of fiscal, monetary, trade and industrial policies.

22. As we focus on inclusive growth, we are conscious of the current rate of unemployment and underemployment. This is a challenge we are determined to meet; and this budget is the platform for putting more Nigerians to work. I can assure you that this administration will have a job creation focus in every aspect of the execution of this budget. Nigeria’s job creation drive will be private sector led. We will encourage this by a reduction in tax rates for smaller businesses as well as subsidized funding for priority sectors such as agriculture and solid minerals.

23. As an emergency measure, to address the chronic shortage of teachers in public schools across the country, we also will partner with State and Local Governments to recruit, train and deploy 500,000 unemployed graduates and NCE holders. These graduate teachers will be deployed to primary schools, thereby, enhancing the provision of basic education especially in our rural areas.

24. We also intend to partner with State and Local Governments to provide financial training and loans to market women, traders and artisans, through their cooperative societies. We believe that this segment of our society is not only critical to our plan for growing small businesses, but it is also an important platform to create jobs and provide opportunities for entrepreneurs.

25. Furthermore, through the office of the Vice President, we are working with various development partners to design an implementable and transparent conditional cash transfer program for the poorest and most vulnerable. This program will be implemented in phases. Already, the compilation of registers of the poorest persons is ongoing. In the coming weeks, we will present the full programme, which will include our home-grown public primary school feeding and free education for science, technology and education students in our tertiary institutions. Indeed, this will mark a historic milestone for us as a nation.

The 2016 Budget

26. Distinguished members of the National Assembly, I now present, the 2016 Budget proposals of the Federal Government. Based on the assumptions I presented earlier, we have proposed a budget of N6.08 trillion with a revenue projection of N3.86 trillion resulting in a deficit of N2.22 trillion.

27. The deficit, which is equivalent to 2.16% of Nigeria’s GDP, will take our overall debt profile to 14% of our GDP. This remains well within acceptable fiscal limits. Our deficit will be financed by a combination of domestic borrowing of N984 billion, and foreign borrowing of N900 billion totaling N1.84 trillion. Over the medium term, we expect to increase revenues and reduce overheads, to bring the fiscal deficit down to 1.3% of GDP by 2018.

28. In 2016, oil related revenues are expected to contribute N820 billion. Non-oil revenues, comprising Company Income Tax (CIT), Value Added Tax (VAT), Customs and Excise duties, and Federation Account levies, will contribute N1.45 trillion. Finally, by enforcing strict compliance with the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007 and public expenditure reforms in all MDAs, we have projected up to N1.51 trillion from independent revenues.

29. Although we are working to diversify our economy, we will not lose sight of the need to restructure the oil and gas sector which has been marred by corruption and plagued with inefficiencies. Accordingly, I have directed the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) to adjust its pricing template to reflect competitive and market driven components. We believe this can lower input costs and attain efficiency savings that will enable PPPRA to keep the selling price for all marketers of petrol at N87 per liter for now.

30. The current fuel scarcity with long queues at petrol stations all over the country causing social dislocation is very unfortunate. Government profoundly apologizes to Nigerians for this prolonged hardship and misery. It is as a result of market speculators and resistance to change by some stakeholders. Government is working very hard to end these shortages and bring fuel to the pumps all over the country.

31. I have also directed the NNPC to explore alternate funding models that will enable us to honour our obligations in Joint Ventures (JVs) and deep offshore fields. We are confident that these measures can be achieved and will lower the burden that the traditional cash calls have imposed on our budget and cash flows as well as contribute towards shoring up our national reserves.

32. To deliver our development objectives, we have increased the capital expenditure portion of the budget from N557 billion in the 2015 budget to N1.8 trillion, in the 2016 budget. Distinguished and honourable members of the National Assembly, for the first time in many years, capital expenditure will represent 30% of our total budget. In future years we intend to raise the percentage allocation for capital expenditure.

33. This is a fulfillment of our promise to align expenditure to our long-term objectives, and a sign of government’s commitment to sustainable development. This increased capital expenditure commits significant resources to critical sectors such as Works, Power and Housing – N433.4 billion; Transport – N202.0 billion; Special Intervention Programs – N200.0 billion; Defence – N134.6 billion; and Interior – N53.1 billion. These investments in infrastructure and security are meant to support our reforms in the Agriculture, Solid Minerals and other core job creating sectors of our economy.

34. We will invest to safeguard lives and property.

35. We will invest in equipping our farmers with the right tools, technology and techniques.

36. We will invest in empowering and enabling our miners to operate in a safe, secure and humane environment.

37. We will invest in training our youths, through the revival of our technical and vocational institutions, to ensure they are competent enough to seize the opportunities that will arise from this economic revival.

38. Indeed, the future looks bright. And I ask that we all work together to make this vision a reality. The 223% year on year growth in capital expenditure demonstrates our desire to make Nigeria more competitive, and start the journey to deliver sustainable development in our country.

39. In fulfillment of our promise to run a lean government, we have proposed a 9% reduction in non-debt recurrent expenditure, from N2.59 trillion in the 2015 Budget to N2.35 trillion in 2016. Furthermore, we have budgeted N300 billion for Special Intervention Programs, which takes the total amount for non-debt recurrent expenditure to N2.65 trillion.

39. As I mentioned earlier, the Efficiency Unit set up by this Administration together with effective implementation of GIFMIS and IPPIS will drive a reduction of overheads by at least 7%, personnel costs by 8% and other service wide votes by 19%. Distinguished and honourable members, this budget will be executed to provide optimum value by ensuring every Naira spent by this Government, counts.

40. We will devote a significant portion of our recurrent expenditure to institutions that provide critical government services. We will spend N369.6 billion in Education; N294.5 billion in Defence; N221.7 billion in Health and N145.3 billion in the Ministry of Interior. This will ensure our teachers, armed forces personnel, doctors, nurses, police men, fire fighters, prison service officers and many more critical service providers are paid competitively and on time.

41. Distinguished and honourable members of the National Assembly, our 2016 borrowings will be principally directed to fund our capital projects. Furthermore, the sum of N113 billion will be set aside for a Sinking Fund towards the retirement of maturing loans; while N1.36 trillion has been provided for foreign and domestic debt service. This calls for prudent management on our part, both of the debt portfolio and the deployment of our hard earned foreign exchange earnings.

42. I am aware of the problems many Nigerians currently have in accessing foreign exchange for their various purposes – from our traders and business operators, who rely on imported inputs; to manufacturers needing to import sophisticated equipment and spare parts; to our airlines operators who need foreign exchange to meet their international regulatory obligations; to the financial services sector and capital markets who are key actors in the global arena.

43. These are clearly due to the current inadequacies in the supply of foreign exchange to Nigerians who need it. I am however assured by the Governor of Central Bank that the Bank is currently fine-tuning its foreign exchange management to introduce some flexibility and encourage additional inflow of foreign currency to help ease the pressure.

44. We are carefully assessing our exchange rate regime keeping in mind our willingness to attract foreign investors but at the same time, managing and controlling inflation to level that will not harm the average Nigerians. Nigeria is open for business. But the interest of all Nigerians must be protected. Indeed, tough decisions will have to be made. But this does not necessarily mean increasing the level of pain already being experienced by most Nigerians.

45. So to the investors, business owners and industrialists, we are aware of your pains. To the farmers, traders and entrepreneurs, we also hear you. The status quo cannot continue. The rent seeking will stop. The artificial current demand will end. Our monetary, fiscal and social development policies are aligned.

Conclusion

46. Mr. Senate President, Mr. Speaker, distinguished members of the National Assembly, in spite of the global economic uncertainties; we must remain steadfast in our commitment to steer this country back to greatness.

47. The Nigerian economy needs to move away from dependency on oil. Our growth must be inclusive. Nigerians must be part of the growth story. As a Government, we shall deliver security, jobs and infrastructure. This is the right of all Nigerians.

48. I know many people will say “I have heard this before”. Indeed, trust in Government, due to the abuse and negligence of the past, is at an all-time low. This means we must go back to basics. Our actions will speak for us. My team of dedicated, committed and patriotic Nigerians is well aware of the task ahead and I can assure you that we are taking on the challenge.

49. We will not betray the trust reposed in us.

50. We will welcome and be responsive to your feedback and criticisms.

51. We are here to serve. And indeed, Nigerians will get the service they have longed for and which they rightly deserve.

52. We as a Government cannot do it alone. We will require the support of all civil servants, the organized labour, industry groups, the press and of course, our religious and traditional institutions. This is a call for all of us to stand and serve our country.

53. This Budget represents a major step in delivering a new opportunity for Nigeria. It demonstrates our confident optimism that despite the challenging times, we have the will, resourcefulness and commitment to deliver prosperity to our people. And by the Grace of Almighty God and the sheer will and determination of the Nigerian people, we will come out stronger and more united than ever.

54. Thank you and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Imoke Presents N149 Billion 2015 Budget

Gov.-Liyel-Imoke5The Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, has presented a budget size of N149.442 billion naira tagged Budget of Progression, for the 2015 fiscal year to the state House of Assembly.

Presenting the budget to the state lawmakers, Imoke averred that, his administration would not only leverage on revenue sources to boost the state’s flagship of tourism and agriculture with emphasis on value chain addition, but would also create a conducive platform for the growth of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in all sectors of the economy.

According to him, the presentation which is the last by the present admiration represents a decrease of N26.87 billion over the 2014 appropriation.

He maintained that of this amount, 60 per cent or N91, 139,347,806.24, shall be committed to capital development, while 40 per cent or N58, 303,334,014.78 is expected to service recurrent bills.

A breakdown of the budget shows that under Recurrent Revenue, Internal Sources is put at N25.54 billion; Federal Sources is estimated at N43.05 billion, while Capital Receipts is projected at N80, 845,615,053.02.

In the estimate, Imoke noted that, recurrent expenditure of the budget is made up of Personnel Cost at N24, 974,329,536.98; Overhead Expenditure at N16, 187,160,047.55 and Statutory Expenditure projected at N17, 141,844,430.25.

He promised to ensure completion of all on-going projects to enable the next administration which will take over power come May 2015 take off on a clean slate.

Economist says Nigeria has one of the best budgeting systems in the world but…

An economist, Sam Olisa on Thursday said that Nigeria has one of the best budgeting systems in the world but the only challenge the country face is implementation.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Olisa said the indices to measure the success of a budget should not be the percentage of implementation as suggested by either a Minister or the National Assembly but on its impact on the ordinary Nigerians.

Economist says budget for 2013 better than that of 2012

An economist, Katchy Ononuju on Thursday said that next year’s budget as proposed by President Goodluck Jonathan before a joint session of the National Assembly on Wednesday is by far better than that of 2012.

Mr Ononuju, who was a guest on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily, said: “This is a much better budget as a proposal of intent than the last one we had. In this, we’ve been able to reduce our exposure to recurrent expenditure. We actually brought it down from the former 72 percent to now 68 percent.”

The economist said the reduction of recurrent expenditure will help release more money for capital expenditure. He said those in government need to ‘put something in for those who voted politicians into place.’

Analyst asks government to trim down agencies’ budget items

A public Finance analyst, Professor Akintola Bello on Thursday said one of the challenges facing budget implementation in Nigeria is the inclusion of too many items on the budget list by government agencies.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Bello said: “I don’t think that our people do budget very well. If you give anything (project) to an agency and ask them to cost it, they will come up with a cost and the costing is so bogus. There is no rationale to the cost; they just put an idea there.”

The financial analyst said the government lacked the capacity to do costing insisting that outlook of the previous budget should determine the subsequent one.