The Federal Government have appealed to the African Development Bank to fast track the $1bn it promised. The loan is needed to cover the 35%shortfall in the 2016 budget.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma made this appeal in a press release signed by the Director of information o, Mr. Adedeji Ajibade. This was after a meeting with the AfDB Team in Abuja.
“We value the relationship with AfDB and we appreciate the budget support. We want AfDB also to fast track the loan facility. Important to note is that AfDB is standing with us.”
Senator Udo Udoma said that government is trying to contain the militancy in the Niger–Delta which has affected oil production in the country. It hopes to restore production to 2.2 million barrels a day at the end of the year.
He also stated that government is committing money into infrastructure development, processing of export zones. It is also providing loans through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at a single digit to support farming in Nigeria.
According to the Minister, The Economic Recovery Plan is designed to consolidate and harmonize all the sectoral plans in a single document. It is a broad detail of an integrated roadmap for the growth and sustainability of the country’s economy. It is also a part of the commitment the federal government made with Nigerians, whether there was a recession or not.
FG Changed Practice in 2016 Budget
Director-General of the Budget Office, Mr. Ben Akabueze, said the government has shifted from the old practice of releasing monies quarterly except on specific request which are tied to projects.
Akabueze said over 750 billion has been released for capital projects out of the 2016 Budget. This is in hope that revenue will improve in the second half of the year. The Federal Inland Revenue Service, (FIRS) and the Nigeria Customs Service are expected to do better having overcome some of the challenges faced in the first half of the year.
Mr. Coulibaly, Ag. Director for Governance and Reform said that the AfDB team came to seek further clarification on policy reforms, level of budget implementation as it touches capital budget releases.
He also stated that they want the Minister to highlight if there is any new policy introduced in the 2017 budget and updates on the Social Protection Policy.