Wednesday, December 14th, 2016 6.40pm/@webtvng
At a joint session of the National Assembly today in Abuja, President Muhammadu Buhari presented the 2017 Appropriation bill christened “Budget of economic recovery and growth”, to the lawmakers.
Giving his opening remarks the Senate President Dr. Bukola Saraki, commended the President for presenting the budget earlier than last year.
Dr Saraki however informed the President that the general feedback in the country, was that of economic hardship and hunger, hence the need for proactive steps in stimulating economic growth in the country.
He called for more cooperation between the National Assembly and the Presidency on the budgeting process and advised the President, to give opportunity for private sector investments into the economy.
Presenting the Appropriation bill, President Muhammadu Buhari described the 2017 budget as one focused to aggressively steering the economy from the current recession.
According to him “The 2017 budget will invest in human capital development and focus on Agro, solid minerals, services, to create jobs in the country”.
President Buhari said the expenditure for the 2017 fiscal year will be N7.298trl a 20.4% increase from the 2016 budget, with a crude oil benchmark of $42.5 and oil production assumption of 2.2ml barrels per day.
The President noted that the budget will operate on the exchange rate of N305.00 to the U.S Dollar ($), with N2.24trl dedicated to capital expenditure and N2.98trl earmarked for recurrent expenditure.
Speaking on the policy framework, President Buhari asserted that the 2017 fiscal plan was to ensure effective coordination between the fiscal, monetary and trade policies.
Considering the the recession and the impact on Nigerians, Buhari admitted that Nigerians were facing a huge test of patience and resilience.
He assured the National Assembly that his administration was committed to giving leadership to the country, at a challenging period.
In his vote of thanks, the House Speaker Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara called for more coordination and understanding between the executive and legislature, while harping on the need for a strategic way of fully implementing the 2016 budget, which will be due May 6, 2016.
Dogara decried the fact that over the Federal budgets of Nigeria had not achieved a 50% level in implementation, he said “We must therefore put on our thinking caps and ensure that the change promised Nigerians is reflected in our budget process, as we cannot really ,make appreciable progress as a nation without significant implementation of the capital component of the budget”.
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