We’ve started working on 2017 budget, says Udoma
Minster of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, has confirmed that the ministry was already working on the 2017 budget. Briefing State House correspondents after President Muhammadu Buhari signed the 2016 budget into law yesterday, Udoma, along side his Minister of State, Zainab Ahmed, said the intention of the ministry is to ensure that the 2017 budget is passed early enough by the National assembly to give room for its full implementation.
He said: “Our intention is that the budget should reach the National Assembly early in October to give them enough time to pass the budget before the end of the year.
“This is because, as you know, the most important time particularly for road construction and road works is, of course, the dry season. If you can get the budget out in December, you can now start early to implement.
“So, our intention is to get us back to a situation where we can have a full January to December implementation of the budget. For that reason, we are working hard on the timetable to achieve this.
“It would also ensure much more extensive consultations with the National Assembly prior to the budget being presented, and also extensive consultations with Civil Societies Organisations (CSOs). That will help us to speed up the process of getting the budget approved.”
On the 2016 budget, Udoma explained that the National Assembly approved the total sum of N6.06 trillion against the N6.08 trillion presented by President Muhammadu Buhari in December last year. He also confirmed that the budget has 2.2 million barrels per day at $38 dollars per barrel as the projected revenue from oil this year.
He pledged to work towards ensuring that the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) fully complied with all the provisions of the document.
Echoing Udoma’s position, Ahmed, who is heading the Budget Implementation Department of the ministry, recalled that a fortnight ago, the ministry presented a memo to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and got approval for a timetable for the budget, noting: “As we are finishing with this budget we are starting on 2017.”
She commended Nigerians for their patience while the disagreement between the Executive and National Assembly lasted, pledging that the process would be improved upon in subsequent years.
She stated: “We have developed a specific implementation guideline for the 2016 budget which will be submitted to all the MDAs. This will be vigorously monitored and reported upon on quarterly basis to the FEC.
“There are some checks in that implementation plan and we intend to follow through with the plan as fast as possible.
“Our own will always be 100 per cent implementation. We know that because we started late we may not achieve it but that is our aim. The budget is a law so we will try and implement it as faithfully as we can. However, the reality is that we may not because we started late.
“So, the cure is that in subsequent years, we will start earlier so as to give us a better chance of implementing the budget in full. But we will do our best.”
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