WITH the passage of the 2016 budget, the federal government has identified 34 veritable priority actions to achieve with the implementation of the budget. Senator Udoma Udo-Udoma, minister of budget and national planning, while presenting the breakdown of the budget and the Budget Strategic Implementation Plan, SIP, said the budget would be implemented under six major strategic invention areas in the SIP to revive the economy.
According to him, SIP for the 2016 budget of change is an implementation plan for a road map of key macroeconomic and sectoral policies. “It is a strategic target for the 2016 fiscal year. The plan will place the economy on the upward trajectory as it is repositioned for change, inclusive growth and sustainable development.” The minister, however, listed the six areas as policy environment, national security and governance; economic diversification; priority critical infrastructure; oil and gas reforms; ease of doing business and social investment. He said the government would achieve appropriate foreign exchange regime and increase low interest lending to the real sector.
Udo-Udoma said the federal government had set deadlines to achieve self-sufficiency and net export of a certain number of agricultural produce and items to diversify the economy. The deadlines are “Rice -2018, tomato paste-2016, wheat-2019″ while that for increase in local production of maize, soya, poultry and livestock will be announced later.
The minister said the government would optimise 7,000 megawatts installed power generation capacity and provide facilities required to transmit and distribute it in one year.
He said that the tariff would includes all costs of transmission, generation and gas at new price and that DISCOS needed to cover the cost of operating, maintaining and upgrading distribution network. According to him, government will complete the Kaduna-Abuja and the Ajaokuta-Warri rail lines scheduled for 2016; revise the National Rail Master Plan and finalise negotiations for Lagos-Kano and Lagos-Calabar rail projects.
“It will ensure delivery of 2,193 kilometres of federal roads across 31 projects scheduled for 2016 (through public works and other interventions) and explore Private Public Partnership options for completing other projects. It will also ensure the completion of the rehabilitation of four airports (Abuja, Kano, Lagos and Port Harcourt) and explore option for concessioning of the airports.
“The government will undertake the construction of 3,552 Mixed Housing Units as pilot scheme in the 36 states and FCT under the National Housing Programme in a secured and planned environment.”
Udo-Udoma said the government would adopt and execute a comprehensive National Oil and Gas Master Plan as the roadmap for petroleum industry’s development, privatisation and governance. According to him, government has resolved to work with the National Assembly to pass a revised Petroleum Industry Bill to privatise NNPC and ensure deregulation of the downstream sector.
He said that it had set three-year deadline to be self-sufficient in refined petroleum products and become a net exporter of the products. On ease of doing business, he said government would work toward moving Nigeria 20 places up in the Ease of Doing Business Ranking and fast-track visa application and issuance processes. The minister, however, assured Nigerians that the government would ensure effective implementation of the budget.
“The capital spending envisaged in this budget, large though it is, represents only a part of the spending required to meet our ambitious plans for Nigeria. To develop this economy, we will need the active involvement of the private sector and we will invite them to take the advantage of the opportunities that government is creating to increase their investment, he said.
The Federal Government is planning a monthly budget performance report by all ministries, departments and agencies to ensure that the budget is implemented to the letter.
— May 23, 2016 @ 01:00 GMT