Nigerians hold their breath as President Buhari signed the most ambitious budget in Nigeria’s history.

ABUJA—President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday signed the 2016 Appropriation Bill into law. The President signed the delayed 2016 budget at the Presidential Villa with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara and Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun among others as witnesses. The record 6.06 trillion budget is expected to stimulate the nation’s slowing economy which took a hit as the price of crude oil, Nigeria’s main export, collapsed in the global market.
President Buhari signs 2016 Budget
President Buhari signs 2016 Budget
IMMEDIATE BOOST FOR INFRASTRUCTURE Budget 2016: President Buhari , Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, with others during the signing of the 2016 budget into Law on 6th May ,2016. Budget 2016: President Buhari , Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, with others during the signing of the 2016 budget into Law on 6th May ,2016. Speaking after signing the budget into law the President said that N350billion will immediately be injected into the economy by way of capital projects. The President also said that N200billion was earmarked for roads infrastructure. Other witnesses to the budget signing ceremony were the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma; Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun; Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Ita Enang; Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (House of Representatives), Samaila Kawo; National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), John Odigie-Oyegun; Chairman Senate Committee on Appropriation, Danjuma Goje and Chairman House of Reps Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumuni Jubril. In his remark after the signing ceremony the President said “It gives me great pleasure today to sign the first full-year budget of this administration into law. I thank the leadership of the National Assembly, in particular, the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and indeed all members of the National Assembly for their cooperation in making this a reality.
A RENEWAL OF FAITH WITH NIGERIANS “The budget is intended to signpost a renewal of our commitment to restoring the budget as a serious article of faith with the Nigerian people. This Administration is committed to ensuring that henceforth the annual appropriation bill is presented to the National Assembly in time for the passage of the Act before the beginning of the fiscal year. “Through the 2016 budget, aptly titled “Budget of Change”, the government seeks to fulfill its own side of the social contract. The Budget I have signed into law provides for aggregate expenditures of N6.06 trillion. Further details of the approved budget, as well as our Strategic Implementation Plan for the 2016 budget, will be provided by the Honourable Minister of Budget and National Planning.
MORE DETAILS FOR MAY 29 “I shall be speaking in more details about the Budget, its implementation and the over-all national economic and social policies of the Government in my address on May 29th, God willing. In designing the 2016 budget, we made a deliberate choice to pursue an expansionary fiscal policy despite the huge decline in government revenues from crude oil exports. This is why we decided to enlarge the budget deficit at this time, to be financed principally through foreign and domestic borrowings. All borrowings will however be applied towards growth-enhancing capital expenditures.
“The signing of the budget today will trigger concerted efforts to reflate the Nigerian economy, a key element of which is an immediate injection of N350bn into the economy by way of capital projects. To illustrate our renewed commitment to infrastructural development, the 2016 budget allocates over N200bn to road construction as against a paltry N18bn allocated for same purpose in the 2015 budget. Continuing the President said “Despite the current difficulties we will work extra-hard to achieve our revenue projections. Our revenue generating agencies are coming under better management and are being re-oriented. The implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) is expected to contribute significantly to improving transparency over government revenues.
I SHARE YOUR PAINS “Our determined fight against corruption is resulting in improvements in the quality of public expenditure. The work of the Efficiency Unit, as well as other public financial management initiatives, are also contributing in this regard. The continuing efforts to reduce recurrent expenditures should hopefully free up more funds for capital expenditure in 2017 and beyond. As I said in my New Year message, living in State House does not in any way alienate me from your daily struggles. I read the newspapers and listen to the TV and radio news. I hear your cries. I share your pains. “We are experiencing probably the toughest economic times in the history of our Nation. I want to commend the sacrifice, resilience and toughness of all Nigerians young and old who have despite the hardships continued to have hope and confidence of a great future for Nigerians. But permit me to say that this government is also like none other.
We are absolutely committed to changing the structure of the Nigerian economy once and for all. We are working night and day to diversify the economy so that we never again have to rely on one commodity to survive as a country. So that we can produce the food we eat, make our own textiles, produce most of the things we use. We intend to create the environment for our young people to be able to innovate and create jobs through technology. “I cannot promise you that this will be an easy journey, but in the interest of so much and so many we must tread this difficult path. I can assure you that this government you have freely elected will work with honesty and dedication, day and night to ensure that our country prospers and that the prosperity benefits all Nigerians. God bless Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE: Meanwhile the news that the President has signed the 2016 into law buoyed activities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) with the market indices growing by 0.54 per cent after declining for two consecutive days. Investors gained N47 billion as the market capitalisation closed at N8.84 trillion compared with N8.79 trillion recorded on Thursday. Mallam Garba Kurfi, Managing Director, APT Securities and Funds Ltd., attributed the growth to investors reaction to the signing of the budget. Kurfi said that signing of the budget had ended the impasse between the presidency and the lawmakers for over four weeks, adding that the uncertainty surrounding the budget had ended with the signing.
A breakdown of the price movement chart indicated that Forte Oil led the gainers’ chart, growing by N20.44 to close at N219.92 per share. Mobil Nigeria followed with a gain of N7.29 to close at N155.09, while Flour Mills Nigeria gained N1.83 to close at N22.34 per share. Guinness appreciated by N1 to close at N95, while Cadbury increased by 78k to close at N16.46 per share. On the other hand, PZ topped the losers’ chart, dropping 68k to close at N20.62 per share. Nigerian Breweries trailed with a loss of 24k to close at N115.08, while Ecobank Transnational Incorporated lost 20k to close at N14.50 per share. Dangote Sugar Refinery shed 11k to close at N5.79 and Portland Paint also declined by 11k to close at N2.17 per share.

FBN Holdings remained the most active, accounting for 30.73 million shares worth N107.99 million. Transcorp followed with an exchange of 20.07 million shares valued at N20.66 million, while Zenith Bank sold 14.22 million shares worth N185.69 million. Guaranty Trust Bank traded 11.19 million shares valued at N194.04 million and Access Bank traded 9.69 million shares worth N40.61 million. In all, investors traded a total of 181.11 million shares valued at N1.17 billion as against 178.87 million shares worth N1.48 billion exchanged on Thursday.

N165bn monthly salaries of federal civil servants not sustainable, says finance minister

Lagos – The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun said on Thursday in Lagos that the N165 billion monthly salaries to federal civil servants was over-bloated and could no longer be sustained by government.
The minister spoke at a meeting with Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) hosted by her counterpart in the Ministry of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed. Adeosun who was speaking on the economy reform agenda of the government, said that the N165 billion being paid to federal civil servants monthly represented 40 per cent of the total spending of government. She said the figure was too high and government was pursuing aggressive measures to detect and prosecute ghost workers and other saboteurs in the system. “We spend 165 billion every month on salaries and when I came in there was no checking. “Now, we have created a unit assigned with the sole responsibility of checking the salaries and catching those behind the over bloated salaries,’’ she said.
Adeosun said that the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) introduced by the previous administration were faulty and sabotaged by the element benefiting from the salary fraud. She said that many Federal Government establishments including the Police were yet to be captured in the system. According to her, it is shocking that the Nigerian Railway Corporation which was not fully functioning still had 10,000 workers in its payroll serviced by government. The minister assured that government would correct the anomalies in the payroll system and weed out all ghost workers in the service. Adeosun said that the fiscal focus of the administration was to ensure an economic growth that would be measured on job creation and productive sectors.
“The economy is not measured by how many private jet we have but how many jobs we create “People must be productive for the economy to grow. “We have been a consumer economy, but we want to be productive and stop buying everything from abroad. “We have been borrowing to pay salaries for years and that has to stop because it is not sustainable. “Last year, we spent N64 billion on traveling and only N90 billion on roads. Traveling does not grow the economy and this must also stop,’’ she said. The minister said that the compound GDP of the country had been growing negatively in the last 10 years and the administration was working to correct the trend. She assured that the administration would be the most discipline government the country has ever had in terms of fiscal accountability and responsibility. Also speaking at the meeting, the Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh said government would reposition the agricultural sector to become the mainstay of the economy.
“The ministry will give policy direction and coordination to make farming attractive and for people to practice it as business. “Government will put policy in place to recover the 22 billion dollars which is floating out of the country’s resources to sustain farms in other countries back to our villages. “Government will also ensure that bank review the two digits interest rate on loan to farmers and other productive sector. “The change promised may appear to be slow, but it is actually taking place. In this year, we have harvested million tons of rice,’’ he said. The Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed said government would complete the clean-up of the Ogoni land in the next one year and ensure the degraded land was revived for productive purposes. She said the Great Green Wall project of planting trees to control desert encroachment would also be given priority by the administration.

Nigeria’s 1st Qtr 2016 Capital-importation Drops To All-time Low

ABUJA: Nigeria spent a total of $710.97 million in capital importation in the first quarter of 2016. The National Bureau of Statistics, NBS in its latest release on Nigerian Capital Importation report for Q1 2016, showed that the amount in spent in the quarter under review was the lowest level since the series began in 2007. This according to the bureau represents a decline of 54.34 per cent since the final quarter of 2015, and a year on year decline of 73.79 per cent.
The report further showed that both the quarterly and year on year declines in the period in view were also the lowest recorded since the series began. As a result of these changes, total capital importation declined by 89.13 per cent since its peak level in the third quarter of 2014. The scale of the decline in capital importation in the first quarter of 2016 is said to be symptomatic of the challenging period that the Nigerian economy is going through, following the fall in crude oil prices.
Although, the report indicated a number of reasons why the amount of capital imported in recent years may have been higher than usual (such as the inclusion of Nigerian in the JP Morgan Bond Index, and globally low interest rates triggering a search for higher yields over this period), NBS reasoned the fact that the amount of capital import has dropped to a record low suggests that there are further reasons why Nigeria has attracted less foreign investment in recent quarters.

The bureau is of the view that Investors may be concerned about whether or not they will be able to repatriate the earnings from their investments, given the current controls on the exchange rate. In addition, as growth has slowed in recent quarters, adding that there may be concerns about the profitability of such investments. According to NBS, the first quarter of 2016 also saw a large change in the composition of capital imported.

NASS Committee Hard Put To Rework The Budget To President’s Model

Abuja—Key ministers, who are members of the special committee raised by the Presidency to work with the National Assembly towards an acceptable budget, yesterday, continued in the waiting game. This is because the document was still not ready for Mr. President’s signature despite several assurances to that effect. In spite of several assurances that the National Assembly had completed work on the document as requested by the President, it was still not ready at 7p.m. yesterday.

Investigations revealed that members of the National Assembly committee were hard put to remove most of the vexatious items as demanded by the President and restore the votes originally earmarked for other projects and services. According to impeccable sources the major problem with the budget was how to remove most of the ‘padding’ from the budget and get the money allocated to them into other uses. It was learned that some members were protective of their projects and were not too keen to get them, and the amount attached to them, off.

President Buhari seems ready to sign the 2016 Budget by weekend.

Federal Government Wednesday outlined 34 projects and programmes which would be accorded utmost priority to ensure optimal performance of the 2016 budget. The development was in the anticipation of the presidential assent to the budget which may happen anytime soon.


The government said the action-plan was necessary to assist the present administration realize the objectives of the All Progressives Congress, APC embedded in the change agenda. The plan was announced by the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed after the Wednesday meeting of the Federal Executive Council, FEC presided over by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.


Addressing State House Correspondents alongside her colleagues which included the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, Minister of state Industry, Trade and Investment, Aisha Abubakar, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hajia Khadijat Buka Abba, Ahmed revealed that 34 priority areas earmarked by the federal government for urgent attention. The areas, she said, spanned through the economy, trade and investments, security, health, power, Oil/Gas and agriculture.


She hinted that the budget might also be signed into law by President Mohammadu Buhari any time soon. She said: “We discussed the strategic implementation plan for the 2016 budget‎. “Our ministry’s presentation was introducing to council for discussion priority economic activities that we need to undertake to ensure that the purpose for which the 2016 budget was made which is to stimulate the economy, to create jobs for our teeming youths and to extend support to the poor and very vulnerable is realized.


“We presented 34 strategic priority programmes that need to be realized within 2016. Each of these projects programmes has very clear deliverables and targets and indicators which will be measured to ensure that the respective Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) deliver on what we committed to implement. “These 34 specific areas are grouped into four major objectives. The first is policy, governance and security, second diversification of the economy, the third‎ is creating support for the poor and the vulnerable and the forth is reflecting our economy through investment. “The paper was well received by council. We got some very positive comments and the 34 priority projects were approved for implementation.

Buhari assures Biya of compliance on Bakkassi

Against an allegation that Nigeria was still accessing hydrocarbon from the oil rich Bakkassi Penunsula despite the judgement of the International Court of Justice, ICJ that ceded region to the Republic of Cameroon, President Mohammadu on Wednesday in Abuja told the country’s president, Mr. Paul Biya and his people to put their mind at rest.


Paul Biya of Cameron and Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria
Paul Biya of Cameroon and Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari (Right), and President of Cameroon Mr. Paul Biya, during a dinner in honor of the visiting President of Cameroon, at the Presidential Villa Abuja on Tuesday Night Answering questions at a joint press briefing which followed the signing of a bilateral agreement and security, amongst others, between Nigeria and Cameroon, the president stated that a committed had been set up with members from both countries to deliberate on the matter. He remarked that while the report of the committee was being awaited, the country needed not to worry as Nigeria would not go contrary to the decision of the ICJ. He said: “On this issue, I will like the government and people of Cameroon to keep their minds at peace.


Nigeria, we are an internationally respectful and abiding nation. Somehow there was a crisis between the two nations on Bakassi Penisula over the hydrocarbon exploitation. This issue is being dealt with by the International Court of Justice. “The technical part of the extent of international interest forms the second part of your question. On maritime resources, there is a committee of experts comprising Cameroon and Nigeria sides. I cannot fully answer that question until after the results of this committee report gets to us and when they submit the report, I expect that with a few of us that are still around, we shall sit together and see what is the best way for the two countries. So, feel secured and be at peace.”


Also reacting to a question of why Cameroon allegedly harboured suspected terrorists who ran to the country for safety, visiting president Pual Biya said that the allegation was unfounded. He maintained that Cameroon was committed to ending insurgency in lake Chad basin. “Yes I have had of this information. I heard it in New York during conferences that Cameroon serves as basis for Boko Haram but what can Cameroon benefit from that? Is it the ideologies? Are we going to benefit from finances? No. It was just bad press. Cameroon remains focused and committed to the fight against Boko Haram”, he said.


Meanwhile, president Buhari at a dinner and cultural night organized in honour of the visiting President of Cameroon and his wife, Chantal Biya at the Presidential Villa,on Tuesday night appreciated the government for giving protection to over 56,000 Internally Displaced Persons from Nigeria since July 2014. The president at the dinner that attracted the Senate President Bukola Saraki; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Chief Justice of the Federation, Mahmud Muktar and top private sector and government functionaries from Cameroon also thanked the United Nations, UN and other international donor agencies for their various assistances to IDPs across the country just as he condoled with the families of Boko Haram victims along the Nigeria/Cameroon border.


He said: “Our special condolences go to families of our fallen heroes who had sacrificed their lives to safe guard our territorial integrity and provide security of lives and property of our people “Permit me to use this occasion of your Excellency’s visit to Nigeria to once again extend my personal gratitude and that of the Federal Government for your country’s hosting of over 65,000 Nigerian refugees since July 2014. “We also appreciate the assistance of the United Nations System, International donors, local and international non-governmental organisations and the ordinary Cameroonian families who share their meager provisions with the refugees in the spirit of African brotherhood. We thank them all”.

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