THE Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, on Friday said that in spite of the late signing of the 2016 budget, the administration would target 100 per cent implementation.
He gave the assurance while briefing State House correspondents shortly after President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Appropriation Bill in Abuja.
The minister said that the budget was anchored on 38 dollars per barrel of oil benchmark, adding that the projection was also based on 2.2 million barrels of crude per day production.
“Our aim will always be 100 per cent implementation.
“We know that because we started late we may not achieve it but 100 per cent achievement is our aim.
“We start with that aim because the budget is a law and we try to implement it as quickly as we can,” he said.
Udoma said that the highlight of the budget would be given later but disclosed that what was signed by the president was slightly lower than what he presented to the National Assembly.
He said that revenue assumptions by the executive and legislature were the same as well as the size of the deficit and added that the ministry would set up monitoring committee to ensure effective implementation.
The minister expressed the hope that the 2017 budget would be passed early as the executive planned to submit the bill in October to enable passage before the end of the year.
According to him, the ministry has sent a memo for a timetable for the presentation of the 2017 budget.
“The ministry presented a memo to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and got approval for a time table for the 2017 budget.
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“So, as we are finishing with this budget, we are starting on 2017 and our intention is that the budget should reach the National Assembly early in October to give them enough time to pass the budget before the end of the year.
“As you know, the most important time, particularly for road construction is the dry season and if you can get the budget out in December you can now start early to implement.
“So, our intention, going forward, is to get us back to a situation where we can get a full January to December implementation for the budget and we are working with a time table to achieve this,” he added.
Udoma said that there would be much consultation with the national assembly and non-governmental organisations prior to the presentation of the next appropriation bill to enable the administration to speed up the approval process.
He expressed the appreciation of the executive to the leadership of the legislature for its support in the process of getting the president to assent on the bill.
Also speaking, Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Hajia Zainab Ahmed, expressed gratitude to the media and the Nigerian people for their patience while the budget process lasted.
On monitoring of implementation, she said that the FEC had approved a monitoring and evaluation framework that the ministry submitted.