Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Buhari presented N6.08 trillion budget for the fiscal year 2016.

President Muhammad Buhari has presented a N6.08 trillion budget for the fiscal year 2016.

Mr. Buhari presented the budget Tuesday morning before a joint session of the National Assembly.

In the budget, capital expenditure takes N1.8 trillion, marking a significant over 300 per cent increment from the 2015 vote of N557 billion.

According to the estimate, N396billion is voted for education, being the largest sectoral allocation.

The health sector gets N296 billion while defence has N294 billion.

This is the first in three years a Nigerian President would personally present a budget before the National Assembly.

That approach by Mr. Buhari earned him commendation by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, who joked that he had expected the President to tweet or email the budget details.

The last two budgets were presented on behalf of then President Goodluck Jonathan by the then Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

In his speech, Mr. Buhari said he was aware Nigerians were losing confidence in the government.

“But I promise the 2016 budget would address the problems,” the President said. “We are here to serve Nigeria and indeed Nigerians will get the services they have longed for.”

According to Mr. Buhari, the budget would ensure reduction in taxes for small businesses.

While reiterating his commitment to economic diversification, he said farming and mining would be given special focus.

He also promised that 500,000 new teachers would be recruited.

He assured that the Nigerian economy would cease to be oil dependent and would instead be characterised by inclusive growth.

“We must deliver security, jobs and infrastructures,” Mr. Buhari said.

On the hardship been faced by Nigerians as a result of fuel scarcity, the President apologised for the situation, admitting he was aware the scarcity had caused social dislocation across the country

He blamed the scarcity on speculators and those “resisting change” and assured Nigerians government was working hard to cushion the difficulty.

The President said has directed the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Authority to continue the sell of petrol at N87 per litre for now.

More details and analyses of the budget will come soon.