President Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Minister of Budget and National Planning Senator Udoma Udo Udoma putting heads together on the way forward for the 2016 Budget.April 10, 2016.

President Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Minister of Budget and National Planning Senator Udoma Udo Udoma putting heads together on the way forward for the 2016 Budget.April 10, 2016.

The Federal Executive Council on the day before the 2016 Budget was signed, approved the six point agenda detailing the strategies being used by the Government to implement the 2016 budget.

The six thematic strategies noted are: (1) Lasting Changes in the Policies, National security and governance. (2) Diversify the economy by Fast – Tracking industrialization, Agriculture and Agro-Allied Processing, as well as attracting investment into the Solid Minerals, Tourism, and Entertainment Sectors. (3) Prioritize critical infrastructure, focused on increasing investment in Power, Rail and Roads etc. (4) Oil and Gas reforms. (5) Ease of Doing Business. (6) Social Investment.

The plan includes 33 priority actions which the Federal Government hopes to tackle over the next 12 months. Actions such as diversifying the economy into agriculture by implementing measures to achieve self-sufficiency and become net exporters of products like Tomato paste (Deadline: 2016), Rice (Deadline: 2018) and Wheat (Deadline: 2019) as well as to increase local production of maize, soya, poultry and livestock.

An aggregate budget of N6.06 trillion was passed by the National Assembly and given assent by the President, even though it is a N17 billion decrease from the Executive’s initially proposed N6.077 trillion, which implies a reduction in the fiscal deficit from 2.16% of GDP to 2.14% of GDP. However, all the key revenue assumptions proposed by the Executive were retained, including the benchmark oil price of $38 per barrel, oil production volume of 2.2mbpd and exchange rate of N197/US$.

The 2016 Budget has been titled, “The Budget of Change”, and speaking about it at the signing yesterday, President Muhammadu Buhari expressed his administration’s commitment in ensuring that there is proper management of revenues as well as working on adequate transparency especially following the implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA).

He further promised to provide more details about the Budget, its implementation and the over-all national economic and social policies of the Government in his address on May 29th, Democracy Day. Buhari also commended the sacrifice of Nigerians, and their resilience in the midst of the economic hardships, urging them to work together with the government and promising that in due time, things will get better even though for a while they will be worse.

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Author: Aderonke Adeleke

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