ABUJA – Federal government has expressed hope that barring any negative interferences, the documentation of 2017 budget estimates would be concluded and sent to the National Assembly next month.
To this end, it is expecting that the implementation of the budget would on Ernest commence in January 2017 to held get Nigeria out of the economic woods.
Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, MRS Zainab Ahmed gave the hints on Wednesday while fielding questions from newsmen at the end of the federal executive council, FEC, meeting which was presided over by President Munammadu Buhari at the presidential villa Abuja.
Ahmed who was asked to rate the performance from the 2016 budget stated that the budget had recorded 50 percent implementation especially on the capital expenditure.
She also justified the request of the president to the National assembly to borrow 29billion US dollars, saying it was to make up the deficit in the 2016 budget.
She said,”The 2017 budget preparation is at an advanced stage, the Economic Management Team has reviewed it extensively, the next step is that it is going to be brought into the Federal Executive Council for approval, thereafter it will be sent to the National Assembly.
“Concerning the borrowing plan that Mr. President has sent to the National Assembly for 2016, indeed included in the borrowing plan is the amount that is required for both local and foreign borrowing to fund the 2016 budget deficit.
“The budget implementation itself is on course, the 2016 budget is fully performed to date in terms of personnel, that is to say we are not owing any salaries at the federal level. Operational expenditure has been disbursed for eight months and the ninth month is just being processed.
“Capital expenditure has been disbursed to the tune of nearly 50 per cent. About N720 billion has been released from the MDAs N1.8billion as at the end of September.
“We are targeting to with the cooperation and assistance of the National Assembly will be approved inside of this year so that we will start implementation in January next year”.
Briefing state house correspondents on the decisions of FEC at the meeting, minister Ahmed stated that FEC gave approval for the commencement of the home grown school feeding programme, saying that 25billion has been earmarked for release in the first phase.
She also stated that N30,000 had been approved to pay graduate teachers who would be engaged in the teaching programme while soft Loans would be provided for the less privilege and the vulnerable in the society.
“Budget ministry presented a memo to Council for notation and implementation on the progress of national roll out of the social investment Programme.
“The programmes are in four parts. First is the homegrown school feeding Programme which is targeting 5.5 million primary school people in all the states of the federation from primary 1-3.
“As at today, 11 states are fully ready to start and the first phase will feed 3.5 million school children.
“The second is a job creation programme which is aimed at preparing 500,000 university graduates, they will be equipped with devices contained information to train them as teachers, agricultural workers and also as health support workers.
“They will be deployed to work in their local community. They will be receiving a monthly stipend of N30,000 monthly for a period of two years.
“The third is the Conditional Cash Transfer, CCT, where one million care givers will be given N5000 monthly or a period of two years. Focus has been given to the extremely poor and vulnerable in our society and special emphasis is being placed on providing as many as possible the north eastern part of the country where a lot of internally displaced persons are.
“The fourth is the enterprise promotion programme which is essentially the loan scheme which will be handled by the Bank of Industry. 1.6 million people made up of market women, traders, artisans, small businesses, youths will be given loan from N10,000 to N100,000 with a repayment period of three to six months and administration cost of five per cent.
“N500billion was budgeted for the social investment Programme in the 2016 budget. We are rolling out with this first four programmes and it will continue till 2017”, he’s explained.