2016 Budget: FG Urges AfDB To Fast Track Loan Pledge

2016 budget, AfDBThe Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, has appealed to the African Development Bank(AfDB) to fast track the one billion dollars loan facility it promised the country as support for the 2016 budget.

The loan is expected to cover the 35 per cent shortfall in the 2016 budget.

Senator Udoma made this appeal on in Abuja during a meeting with an AfDB team over the weekend

The Minister said: “I want to thank you for the support. We value the relationship with AfDB and we appreciate the budget support. We want AfDB also to fastrack the loan facility”.

Senator Udoma while giving an overview of the government’s plan to reflate the economy and spend out of the recession, said that the government was trying to contain the militancy in the Niger Delta which had affected oil production in the country.

The government hopes to restore production to 2.2 million barrels per day at the end of the year.

“The government is committing money into infrastructure development, processing of export zones, and also providing loans through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at a single digit to support farming in Nigeria,” he stated.

According to the Minister, the Economic Recovery Plan is designed to consolidate and harmonise all the sectoral plans in a single document and set out in broad detail an integrated roadmap for the growth and sustainability of the country’s economy, and is also a part of the commitment the Federal Government made with Nigerians, whether there was a recession or not.

Also at the meeting was the Director General of the Budget Office, Mr Ben Akabueze and he said that what the government was doing differently concerning budget releases, was that it had shifted from the old practice of releasing monies quarterly but on specific request which are tied to projects.

Mr Akabueze said that so far over 750 billion had been released for capital projects.

He says hopes are high that revenue will improve in the second half of the year as the Federal Inland Revenue Service, (FIRS) and the Customs will do better, having overcome some of the challenges faced in the first half of the year.

The Acting Director for Governance and Reform, Mr Coulibaly, who spoke earlier said that the AfDB team came to seek further clarification on policy reforms, level of budget implementation, as it touches capital budget releases.

He also stated that they wanted the Minister to highlight if there was any new policy introduced in the 2017 budget and updates on the Social Protection Policy.

President Buhari Appoints Akabueze DG Budget Office

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of his Special Adviser on Planning, Mr Ben Akabueze, as the new Director General of the Budget Office of the Federation.

The appointment was made public on Thursday in a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.

“Mr Akabueze takes over from Mr Tijani Mohammed Abdullahi who will now serve as Special Adviser to the President on Planning and will continue to work with the Minister of Budget and National Planning,” the statement read.

Both Mr Akabueze and Mr Abdullahi joined the Ministry of Budget and National Planning in February this year.

“Their redeployment is part of an ongoing exercise aimed at further re-positioning the Ministry to effectively deliver on its core mandate,” the statement read.

Fashola Announces 83 Per Cent 2014 Budget Performance

The Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, fasholahas announced a 83-per cent cumulative performance for the 2014 Budget.

The performance represents the accomplished Budget in the first, second, third and fourth quarters of the year which stood at 67 per cent, 106 per cent, 84 per cent and 77 per cent respectively.

Addressing a press conference at the Lagos State House, Ikeja, Governor Fashola also announced that the fourth quarter budget performance stood at 77 per cent, saying the impact of the fourth quarter performance of the budget was already visible across the State in projects such as, the completed court buildings in Epe and Ikeja.

Governor Fashola also said that other projects that benefitted from the fourth quarter budget were the solar projects in primary health institution, primary schools, progress in road works across the state such as Agiti, Isheri-Oshun bridge behind Jakande Estate which are completed.

On the priorities of his administration in its last days, Governor Fashola promised to continue to do more of what the administration have done in order to close strongly.

“As I said before, in the rain and in the sun we will continue to provide service; that is the role of government.”

Governor Fashola listed other areas of priority to include settling as many obligations as it could, “in spite of the difficult financial situation,” to contractors to accelerate and complete more on-going projects.

Fashola also declared:  “We are issuing more contracts to support small businesses. We are in procurement now for maintenance contracts for about 606 schools which are contracts that range between N2 million and N5 million for small businesses”.

He said that beneficiaries would be graduates from the State’s technical and vocational centres who have formed small companies, and members of the society who bid for the contracts as well as those who show “demonstrable capacity”.

 

Fashola Signs Lagos 2015 Appropriation Bill Into Law

DSC_0488The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, on Sunday signed into law the 2015 Appropriation Bill with a pledge that his administration would continue to render service to Lagosians until the end of his tenure.

The 2015 Appropriation Bill, with the size of 489.69 billion Naira, was presented to the State House of Assembly on Monday, November 24, 2014 with Capital to Recurrent ratio put at 51:49 for Year 2015, which is the same as Year 2014 budget.

In his remarks before signing the Budget at the Lagos House, Marina, Governor Fashola said: “As an article of faith, the way any government treats its budget defines how determined, how focused and how serious that government is in terms of service delivery to its citizens”.

The Governor, who noted that there were talks in some circles that budgets would be delayed as a result of the fact that elections were in the air, declared: “I don’t think that there is any legitimate excuse for it for a government that has been able to plan and implement its plan”.

On why the event was held on a Sunday, Governor Fashola explained that the APC had called for a National Meeting in Abuja on Monday, January 12, adding that “the flexibility and adaptability” of his administration has made it easy to call the event forward instead of pushing it backwards.

He told reporters shortly after the event that although there were financing challenges when he presented the budget in 2014, but because the State’s revenue has been based largely on the common contributions of Lagosians, the economy had remained sustainable.

Also addressing reporters, the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr Ben Akabueze, said with the signing of the budget into law, the pace of implementation would be intensified as government agencies could now access the full estimates provided for them in the budget.

The Commissioner explained that agencies of the government were allowed by law to access only the provisional estimates of 25 per cent before the signing of the budget, explaining that the signing of the budget would enable the government agencies “fire at all fronts from tomorrow” (Monday).

Reiterating that the present administration would continue to render service to Lagosians till the very last day, Akabueze hinted that the administration would soon announce the performance of the 2014 Budget. He said the State was not immune to the economic challenges facing the nation.

He, however, expressed joy that 70 per cent of the State Government’s budget would be financed through its own internally generated revenues. “Although the budget size is 489 billion Naira, that amount will be generated by the government throughout the year over the next 12 months.

“The budget is an estimate of revenues and expenditures that will accrue to this State; the revenue that will accrue over the next 12 months as well as expenditures that we will need to incur”, the Commissioner explained, adding that “the overall budget size remains at 489.69 billion Naira just a little short of 490 Billion Naira, of which 248 billion Naira approximately will be spent on Capital Expenditures and 241 billion Naira as Recurrent Expenditure”.