The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, has indicated that President Buhari, has instructed the National Planning Commission (NBC) to produce a framework for the 2016 national budget. In addition to that, he has ordered that the commission should ensure that it reduces recurrent expenditure and prioritize capital project to boost development in the country.
The statement reads: “In carrying out its role in surveillance of the economy, review and appraisal of policies, the commission should devise a plan for a realignment of the budget so that capital projects can be really prioritised”.
However, the executive secretary of the NPC had informed the President that Nigeria’s planning system was beset by many challenges, amongst many includes the non-alignment of national plans with the annual budget and inadequate capacity in the departments of planning, research and statistics in the various government ministries.
He later told state house correspondents that he used the opportunity of the meeting with the President to inform him that the commission had on the ground a perspective plan, the national Vision 20:20.
Akpanyung said the commission was in the process of developing a medium term plan to cover Vision 2016 to 2019 which would address the core elements of the present administration’s priorities.
“Of course, we sought the President’s support for the articulation and finalisation of that document because his pronouncement on it will assist us in rapidly doing so.
“Planning, like I said, will make it effective from 2016 to 2019.
“So, we should be working very seriously to pick out the elements that will form the document.
“The core areas: security, the areas of diversification, the area of restabilising the polity, the micro economic situations that are going to be addressed.
“Of course, we can’t forget the issues of unemployment and agric in the real sectors. These are the areas that will drive and ensure that the employment situation is improved upon and that will reduce the poverty level,” he added.