Wednesday, December 9, 2015

FG budgets N500b for school feeding, post-NYSC grants, others in 2016

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday submitted a three-year, Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) to the Senate, proposing a budget of N6.04 trillion for the fiscal year of 2016. The Framework by Buhari indicated the preparedness of his government to fund a social welfare programme to the tune of N500 billion to the benefit of needy Nigerians.

The amount, as indicated in the Framework is to cover school feeding programme initiatives, conditional cash transfer to the most vulnerable and post National Youths Service Corps grants. According to Buhari, the intervention on social welfare programme will start as a pilot scheme while the government is expected to work towards securing the support of donor agencies and Nigeria’s development partners in order to minimize the potential risks. The 2016 Budget as proposed by President Buhari is to run on oil bench mark of $38 trillion and a projected deficit of N2.22 trillion.
The 2016 Budget which would be tabled before the National Assembly after the final approval of the MTEF is projected on an average growth of 4.3 percent with envisaged increase of growth 10 percent by 2017. Buhari said 2016 Budget would be funded through collections from the Nigerian Customs, Company Income Tax, Value added Tax as well as revenue from oil.
He said his government had hoped to diversify the economy as a means of lowering Nigeria’s over dependence on oil. He said the hope on economy diversification is high on the part of his government, given the outcome of the GDP rebasing exercise which, according to him indicates that the structure of the Nigerian economy is now more diversified The MTEF indicates that the government has adopted the implementation of a zero based budgeting system in which case only projects and programmes of the government which are development policy compliant would enjoy the maximum focus of the government.

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