This is good news for all unemployed graduates in Nigeria. Yesterday, President Muhammadu Buhari sent the Medium Term Expenditure Frame Work (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) to the National Assembly. The N6.7trn budget for 2016 surprisingly has a huge sum of N500bn for unemployed graduates in Nigeria and feeding school children among other social welfare programs.
In a letter addressed to the senate president, the president explained that the ‘phased’ Social Welfare Programme will be created to provide for a larger population of the poorest and vulnerable Nigerians upon the evidence of children’s enrollment in school and evidence of immunization.
Still on the social welfare programme, the President stated in the MTEF/FSP, that his government will work with all state governments to build well-structured social welfare intervention programmes like feeding school children and conditional cash transfer to the most vulnerable, and post-NYSC grant. Thus he allocated N500 billion to cover the welfare programs. Part of the letter reads;
N500 billion has been provisioned in the 2016 budget as social investments for these programmes. These interventions will start as a pilot scheme and we will work towards securing the support of donor agencies and our development partners in order to minimise potential risks.
President Buhari went further to say that Job creation and social inclusion are key to the administration’s development programme, as a means to reducing the rates of unemployment, poverty and inequality. He also made it clear that there is no possibility of increasing civil servants’ salaries, rather, 2016 will have all federal government ministries, department and agencies (MDAs) pruned:
Government will, in the near-to-medium-term, continue to prune the size of the federal government and its MDAs to more efficient levels without compromising efficiency and effectiveness. Over the medium-term, however, Government will revisit the need to rationalize the agencies of Government and strategically implement relevant provisions.
Other issues addressed in the 2016 budget include the allocation of about N63.29 billion for subsidy (including N150 billion for 2015 arrears), N20 billion for the Presidential Amnesty Programme, and N39.88 billion is voted for Frontier Exploration Services.
Looking at the 2016 budget released by the president, a lot spell hope for better living conditions for Nigerians. For instance, the government expects that crude oil will be sold at $38 per barrel as against the $43 per barrel of this year. Though there was never a time crude oil was sold for as low as that in Nigeria, the $38 per barrel projection is very realistic especially now that the global price of oil is unpredictable. We also have the National Assembly’s budget reduced from N120 billion in 2015 to N115 billion in 2016.
With 30% of the country’s budget focusing on capital expenditure, Nigerians should be ready to have more infrastructure. It also means that federal government will be spending more on wealth creation and less on consumption. It will also address the issue of unemployment. Speaking on this, Vice President Osibanjo said
“allowing retail investors to come into the nation’s capital market will ultimately deepen the market with potentials for multiplier effects on other sectors of the economy.”
Meanwhile, vice president Yemi Osinbajo explained that the federal government plans to change its approach towards budget planning using a zero-based budgeting for its 2106 budget planning. According to him, this budget method will help the country to spend wisely the treasury fund and consider more careful planning of needs and costs. He explained also that the introduction of the Treasury Savings Account for all the governing bodies was meant to prevent any possibility of financial leakages.