2016 budget achievable despite falling oil price —Minister

Posted by News Express | 1 February 2016 | 3,004 times

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The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, has assured that the 2016 budget is achievable in spite of falling oil price.

This is contained in a statement issued by the Director of Information in the ministry, Mr Charles Dafe, in Abuja on Sunday.

It said that the minister stated this when a delegation from the African Development Bank (ADB) visited the ministry.

The statement said that ongoing reform targeted at diversifying the revenue base of the country would guarantee the achievement of the budget.

“Our budget is achievable; we have ongoing reforms targeted at diversifying our revenue base away from single oil commodity economy.

“Our Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, is assiduously applying innovative financing in the oil sector to address any likely revenue gap from our projected oil revenue.

“Plugging leakages through zero tolerance to corruption, application of sound public financial management and improved revenue collection system are reforms targeted to achieve the budget.”

The statement assured that the ministry would proactively plan, advice and monitor all matters relating to national development, adding that it would also ensure that vital development policies were properly implemented by all stakeholders.

It explained that 30 per cent of the budget allocated to capital projects was critical for the stimulation of economic development.

It quoted the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, as saying that naira depreciation, falling oil prices and infrastructure decay were challenges facing the country.

Ahmed, however, said “substantial monies from recoveries of looted funds were not factored in as sources of revenue and as such would also be utilized for our development projects.

“We are counting on assistance from other developmental partners like the African Development Bank to access N1.8 trillion loans needed for Nigeria infrastructural development.

“Assistance is also required in our 2016-2020 medium Term Expenditure Frameworks and the Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal.”

The statement said that the AfDB delegation commended the 2016 budget, describing it as ‘good and ambitious.’

According to the statement, Country Director of AfDB, Mr Ousmane Dore, said the bank would assist Nigeria to achieve its efforts in poverty reduction.

“Nigeria is having an impressive and a better economic direction that would attract foreign investors.” (NAN)

•Photo shows Udo Udoma.

Source: News Express

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