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Budget 2016: Capital releases will no longer be automatic , says Udo-Udoma

By The Citizen
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The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo-Udoma has said capital releases will no longer be automatic as they will depend on ministries, departments and agencies' (MDAs) meeting performance indicators.

Udoma said this at the 2016 annual public lecture of the Nigerian Economic Society (NES) yesterday, in Abuja.

He said the ministry has developed a robust monitoring and evaluation framework for effective monitoring of the 2016 budget.

'We believe that with these measures, we will succeed in turning the economic crisis into an opportunity to restructure and reposition our economy for growth and prosperity.

'In this way, we will deliver the economic change we promised Nigerians,'' the minister said.

The minister also said the 2016 budget was designed to help ameliorate some economic challenges in the country. 'It signals the determination of the administration to create a diversified economy that is no longer dependent on crude oil proceeds.

'The budget, which has outlay of N6.06 trillion and capital expenditure of N1.79 trillion (29 per cent of total budget), is aimed at reflating the economy. It is also aimed at creating jobs for our teeming youths as well as supporting the vulnerable groups,'' he said.

Udoma stressed that the administration was committed to strengthening the link between its plans and budgeting processes to ensure better implementation of its projects and programmes.

'We are committed to inclusive development which explains the unprecedented allocations of N500 billion to social investment projects in the 2016 Budget of Change,'' he said.

Earlier, NES President, Prof. Ben Aigbokhan said in the 1960s up to mid-1980s, there was deliberate effort to make plans serve as guide to development programmes and policies.

Aigbokhan said that there was visible link between plans and annual budget, noting that it was the era which held much prospects for Nigeria migrating from third to first world group within two decades