The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, in a statement issued by Mr. Charles Dafe, the Director of Information in the ministry was quoted to have said that even in the face of the crashing oil prices, he is still confident that the 2016 budget was capable of being achieved. He made this known when a delegation from the African Development Bank, AfDB, visited the Ministry on Sunday.
As written in the statement, ongoing reforms aimed at creating different sources of revenue base for the country would ensure the achievement of the budget. As it says;
“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 made it certain that the ministry would take proactive measures in planning, advising and monitoring all matters relating to national development, adding that it would also ensure that vital development policies were properly implemented by all stakeholders.
It made it clear that 30% of the budget set aside for capital projects was of utmost importance 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.
“Zainab Ahmed, nevertheless, said that“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 revealed that the delegation of AfD praised the 2016 budget, describing it as “good and ambitious’’.
As noted in the statement, Mr Ousmane Dore, Country Director of AfDB, revealed that the bank would give support to Nigeria in order to achieve its desired result in poverty reduction. Dore was quoted as saying that, ‘’Nigeria is having an impressive and a better economic direction that would attract foreign investors”.
With the recent reforms in different institutions of the nations, one thing is glaring. The generation of revenue needed for the achievement of the 2016 budget will aside from the government purse, come from the masses. This is true considering the recent imposition of N50 stamp duty by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, on all legal transactions done by bank customers.
This stamp duty is to be paid on all transactions above N1000. Transactions in this category includes cash, cheque or electronic deposits into the customers account. Deposits made by a person into his/her account is however not to be taxed.