FG to use N250b from recovered loot to fund 2017 budget – Minister

The National Budget Office says it is projecting using N250 billion out of funds recovered from corrupt officials to finance the 2017 budget.

 

Ben Akabueze, director-general of the office, disclosed this while fielding questions from reporters at the presidential villa in Abuja, on Monday.

 

Akabueze said N72 billion of the money had already been recovered.

 

“We are projecting N258.6 billion looted funds to be part of the revenue to finance 2017 budget,” he said.

 

“Also to be included in budget financing is $320 million, which is N97.6 billion recovered the loot of Sani Abacha expected from Swiss government.

 

“The balance of N90 billion will be from other expected recovery loot which are now at advance stages.”

 

Udoma Udoma, minister of budget and national planning, said based on the key assumption and budgetary reform initiatives, the 2017 budget envisaged a total federal government revenue of N4.94 trillion.

 

He said the figure exceeded the 2016 financial year projection by 28 per cent.

 

“The projected revenue receipt from oil is N1.985 trillion and non-oil, N1.373 trillion,” he said.

 

“The contribution of oil revenue is 40.2 per cent compared to 19 per cent financial year of 2016 in addition to cost reduction, higher price, exchange rate and additional oil related revenues.”

Minister to break Buhari’s 2017 budget in details Monday

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, will on Monday give a breakdown of the highlights of the 2017 Budget estimates presented on Wednesday to the National Assembly by President Mohammadu Buhari.

Those expected at the briefing, which will be held at the Banquet Hall of the State House in Abuja, include media practitioners, Heads of Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Representatives of States and Local Governments, Private Sector Operators and Associations, Captains of industry and Civil Society Organizations.
Presenting the broad estimates to the National Assembly on Wednesday, President Buhari said the implementation of the 2017 Budget will be based on government’s economic recovery and growth strategy. The Plan, which builds on the Strategic Implementation Plan for the 2016 Budget, provides a clear road map of policy actions and steps designed to bring the economy out of recession and to a path of steady growth and prosperity.

The President said “we continue to face the most challenging economic situation in the history of our Nation. Nearly every home and nearly every business in Nigeria is affected one way or the other. Yet I remain convinced that this is also a time of great opportunity.”

The President said: “we have reached a stage when the creativity, talents and resilience of the Nigerian people is being rewarded. Those courageous and patriotic men and women who believed in Nigeria arenow seeing the benefits gradually come to fruition. I am talking about the farmers who today are experiencing bumper harvests, the manufacturers who substituted imported goods for local materials and the car assembly companies who today are expanding to meet higher demand.”

Vowing that his government will change the Nigerian economic focus from dependence on a single commodity and the habit of Nigerians depending on foreign goods, the President said government will increasingly grow and process local food, engage in local manufacturing and refining of petroleum products.

“We will buy ‘Made in Nigeria’ goods. We will encourage garment manufacturing and Nigerian designers, tailors and fashion retailers. We will patronize local entrepreneurs. We will promote the manufacturing powerhouses in Aba, Calabar, Kaduna, Kano, Lagos, Nnewi, Onitsha, and Ota. From light manufacturing to cement production and petrochemicals, our objective is to make Nigeria a new manufacturing hub.”

President Buhari explained that the implementation of the 2016 Budget was hampered by the combination of relatively low oil prices in the first quarter of 2016, and disruptions in crude oil production which led to significant shortfalls in projected revenue. “This contributed to the economic slow-down that negatively affected revenue collections by the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Nigerian Customs Service.”

Government’s priorities in 2017, according to him, will be a continuation of the 2016 plans but adjusted to reflect new additions made in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan. “In order to restore growth, a key objective of the Federal Government will be to bring about stability and greater coherence between monetary, fiscal and trade policies while guaranteeing security for all.”

He said the 2017 Budget is based on a benchmark crude oil price of US$42.5 per barrel; an oil production estimate of 2.2 million barrels per day; and an average exchange rate of N305 to the US dollar.

Based on these assumptions, aggregate revenue available to fund the federal budget is N4.94 trillion. This is 28% higher than 2016 full year projections. Oil is projected to contribute N1.985 trillion of this amount.

Non-oil revenues, largely comprising Companies Income Tax, Value Added Tax, Customs and Excise duties, and Federation Account levies are estimated to contribute N1.373 trillion. We have set a more realistic projection of N807.57 billion for Independent Revenues, while we have projected receipts of N565.1 billion from various Recoveries. Other revenue sources, including mining, amount to N210.9billion.

With regard to expenditure, he said “we have proposed a budget size of N7.298trillion which is a nominal 20.4% increase over 2016 estimates. 30.7% of this expenditure will be capital in line with our determination to reflate and pull the economy out of recession as quickly as possible.”

This fiscal plan will result in a deficit of N2.36 trillion for 2017 which is about 2.18% of GDP.  The deficit will be financed mainly by borrowing which is projected to be about N2.32 trillion. “Our intention is to source N1.067 trillion or about 46% of this borrowing from external sources while, N1.254 trillion will be borrowed from the domestic market’, he said.

 

Akpandem James,
Media Adviser to the Hon. Minister

Minister disagrees with critics, insists Buhari’s govt has economic blueprint.

Budget and National planning minister Udoma Udo Udoma yesterday said that it was untrue that the President Mohammed Buhari administration lacked an economic blueprint or agenda.

Udoma said that the 2016 budget was designed from the strategic implementation Plan (SIP) and medium – term National Development plan, stressing that the current administration has four key policy priorities and six strategic interventions.

The priorities are critical infrastructure, embracing the private sector participation, social protection and job creation, and improving security and tackling corruption.

Udoma who spoke this yesterday in Abuja at the opening of a national economic retreat for stakeholders noted that the four key priority areas of government will be hinged on six strategic intervention areas namely, policy, security and governance, diversification of the economy, power, rail and roads development, oil and gas reforms, improvement of ease of doing business in Nigeria and social investment.

Also, the Minister of Environment, Amina J. Mohammed, has said that Buhari was committed to ensuring that food security and economic development are top priorities, to be achieved with agriculture as one of the programmes to diversify the economy.

Speaking at 2nd National Biosafety Conference, she said that government’s agriculture policy captures food security as one of its four thrusts to long-term economic growth and security.Mohammed noted that this could be seen from the recent signing of a historic Paris Agreement by the President.

Meanwhile, the President is said to be under pressure by some influential All Progressives Congress (APC) members to dissolve the Police Service Commission (PSC) and inaugurate a new body to pave the way for a top retired officer from the South-west to head it with new members.

The retired top officer is believed to also be lobbying the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, who is far his junior to mount pressure on the President to dissolve the PSC.

He is said to have paid an unusual courtesy visit to the IGP in September.

However, a source said that Buhari has rejected their lobby on ground that he has not found any cogent reason to dissolve the commission.

The source also disclosed that “instead, the President is happy with the leadership of the commission because he is aware that the chairman, former IGP Okiro has refused to succumb to pressures to bend the rules in the recruitment exercise. And you know, this government is fighting corruption at all levels.”

It was during the regime of the retired top cop that policemen embarked on a strike, the first time in the history of the Nigeria Police Force, forcing the then President to relieve him of his job.

A daily newspaper had reported that the PSC may have suspended the final phase of selecting 10,000 successful candidates for recruitment into the force.

The paper reported that the decision to suspend the last phase (final selection) was informed by pressures from some influential National Assembly members.

It also reported that the bone of contention was an alleged demand that the commission adopt the “local government by local government” arrangement.

This request was said to have been rejected by the commission, which insisted on sticking to the “state-by-state” tradition, in accordance with the federal character principle.

It also claimed that the IGP allegedly wrote to the PSC, reminding the commission that it (PSC) has since ceded power to recruit Constables.

It stressed that the commission ceded the responsibility to the Force Headquarters, with the understanding that it would be carried out in conjunction with the PSC.

To avoid too much pressure from the top politicians, the commission’s chairman, Sir Mike Okiro, and his commissioners with selected officers from Force Headquarters, temporarily relocated to Jigawa State.

A source at the commission disclosed that Okiro and his team were in Jigawa, “to personally look at the reports of the coordinators who marked the aptitude test of the candidates so as to do the final selection and get the best for the police.”

The source also disclosed that, “they chose Jigawa State because they wanted a quiet place to stave off pressures.” The source further disclosed that a chairman of one of the committees in the House of Representatives (name withheld) had called Okiro to make the demand.

Out of the 10,000 people to be recruited, 500 will be Cadet Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASPs), another 500 will be Cadet Inspectors and 1,500 will be specialist officers, while 7,500 will be Constables.

22nd Nigerian Economic Summit Opens with “Made in Nigeria”.

The Nigerian Economic Summit Group has called for concerted and all round effort from relevant stakeholders,  for the Nation’s goal of self-sufficiency to be realised.

 

The Chairman, Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) Board Committee, Adedoyin Salami, made the call on Monday in Abuja at the opening of the 22nd edition of the Nigeria Economic Summit (NES 22).

 

If made-in-Nigeria must succeed, it should not be the challenge of the federal government alone. All the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital territory (FCT) must have a role to play,”

 

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The NES Board Chairman, who lamented that the country’s current economic indices were far from ideal, stressed the need to embrace the imperatives of local competitiveness and productiveness, as well as ability to create and add value to the economy.

 

Commenting on the obvious change in the Oil sector, Salami advised on a deliberate move away from overdependence on oil. “The dynamics of oil has changed, with the production of shale oil. The cost of producing shale oil imposes a cap on oil prices, with 72 countries in the world potentially capable of producing shale oil, with Nigeria’s key customers, United States and China already producing shale oil or looking for alternatives to our oil,” he said.

 

 

He maintained that Nigeria would overcome the domestic economic challenges if the country embraces a deliberate move away from oil dependence in line with a policy framework to articulate national development and attainment goals.

 

Salami also warned that failure to make the private sector the engine of growth and development would not make the country attractive to investors and called on government to encourage and support the private sector to contribute to the economy.

 

Also speaking at the event, The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udoma, said the current administration has acknowledged the private sector as the anchor of the country’s economic growth, assuring that government would continue to encourage and support them to grow in a competitive environment.

 

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As a Government we have taken steps to encourage our officials to buy made in Nigeria products. We have also been working with the private Sector and other related stakeholders to encourage more consumption of Made in Nigeria goods and services. We believe that with more patronage, Nigerian producers will be encouraged to improve on quality and create jobs for our teeming youth.” He added.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari who declared the summit open called on participants to ensure that they reach conclusions and come up with resolutions that will support government’s effort to diversify the economy in the face of challenges posed by dwindling global oil prices.

 

Made in Nigeria lies at the heart of so many efforts we are making to lead us through this troubled times and lay a firm foundation for the future,” President Buhari said.

 

The theme for this year’s summit is ‘Made In Nigeria’ with organisers and participants looking to come up with strategies that will spur economic growth through heightened patronage of made in Nigeria goods and services
On Day two, the Summit will continue with parallel sessions on the ICT, Small and Medium Enterprises, Micro Credit, services and finance.

Minister Assures Nigerians Of Quick Enactment Of 2016 Budget

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, on Thursday assured Nigerians of quick enactment of 2016 by the government.

 

The minister said that measures were being put in place by government to resolve all pending issues delaying the passage of the budget at the National Assembly.

 

He gave the assurance during his meeting with the State Commissioners of Economic Planning and Chief Executives of state Planning Commissions in Abuja.

 

“Nigerians should have faith and confidence; we are working at the National Assembly to resolve all issues; we are making very good progress and the budget will be passed soon,’’ he said.

 

According to him, the budget is well crafted and well cut out with a sole purpose of reviving the economy.

 

Udo Udoma said the budget was structured more on non-oil revenue, adding that this was the first budget that would be funded more from non-oil revenue.

 

“We have resources which we need to harvest; we have agencies of government that generate revenues which are not being captured.

“We have in addition, many people who do not pay their taxes, so we want to increase tax collection.

“We want to try and get more people to pay their taxes; also we want to block all leakages because there are many leakages in the system

“ So, by blocking leakages, by getting all the excess revenues and harvesting them, it is through these ways that we intend to fund the budget,’’ Udo Udoma said.

He said that there was a funding gap, hence the government had to borrow to bridge the gap.

Udo Udoma said that it was important to revive the state of the country’s economy, adding that “we cannot afford to allow the economy to come to crumble”.

 

“We have to revive it and the typical way you revive an economy is that you do a major capital spending, harvest your resources and also borrow’’.

 

Earlier, Dr Adeyemi Dipeolu, the Special Adviser to the Vice President on Economic matters, said planning and budgeting functions were very important in the development process of any economy.

 

Dipeolu said that this was essential as it helped to bring about togetherness, coordination, harmonisation, strategic increase and uncommon objective in an economy.

 

He expressed optimism that the forum would engender progress in the direction of state of the country’s economy.

Dipeolu called for active participation of all stakeholders in providing favourable environment for successful transformation and progress of the Nigerian economy.

 

Dr. Othman Ibrahim, the Commissioner of Budget and Planning in Nassarawa State, also urged all stakeholders to put to practice all the deliberations at the meeting.

 

The event was attended by commissioners, permanent secretaries and representatives of various states of the federation.

 

 

(NAN)