President Buhari orders reduction of recurrent expenditure in 2016 budget

President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the National Planning Commission (NPC) to alter the present economic planning that reproduce a framework that will reduce recurrent expenditure and prioritize developmental projects in 2016 budget.

President Buhari gave the order after taking a briefing from the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Dr. Bassey Akpanyung at the Presidential Villa on Monday.

According to the president, capital projects must be accorded the priority it deserved.
“In carrying out its role in surveillance of the economy, review and appraisal of policies, the Commission should devise a plan for a realignment of the budget so that capital projects can be really prioritized,” the President said.
Briefing the president earlier, Akpanyung told the President that many challenges were militating against Nigeria’s planning system.

These challenges, according to him included the non-alignment of national plans with the annual budget and inadequate capacity in the departments of Planning, Research and Statistics in the various government ministries.

The executive who later briefed State House Correspondents in an interview stated that the commission was going to focus on the priority areas that would help realize the “Change” agenda of APC’s government.
“We came to brief the president on the activities of the National Planning Commission which the covers mainly the preparation of long term and medium term plans for the economy.

“We used the opportunity to inform him that we already have on the ground a perspective plan that is national vision 20:20:20 and we in the process of developing a medium term plan to cover Vision 2016 to 2019 which will address the core elements of this present administration’s priorities.

“Of course, we sought his support to the articulation and finalisation of that document because his pronouncement on it will assist us in rapidly doing so. Planning like I said will make it effective from 2016 to 2019. So, we should be working already very seriously to pick out the elements that will form the document

“The core areas: security, the areas of diversification, the area of restabilising the polity, the micro economic situation that are going to be addressed. Of course, we can’t forget the issues of unemployment, agric in the real sectors. These are the areas that will drive and ensure that the employment situation is improved upon and that will impart the poverty level.

“The president’s response was positive and he has specifically directed that we have to take a second at the capital projects and their funding rather than spreading capital funding widely that will not impact on anything. We should look at the core priority areas, select those and fund effectively to the end and take on the second priority areas and do likewise”, Akpayong said.
Credit: Vanguard