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2016 Budget: Buhari Earmarks N500 Billion for Social Welfare Packages

Gen. Mohammadu Buhari, Former Head of State and the leader of the APC

*To Borrow N2.2 Trillion to Finance the N6.04 trillion budget

Ayodele Afolabi, Abuja

To fulfil his campaign promises and  implement one of his key programmes in the 2016 fiscal year, President Muhamnadu Buhari has set aside N500 billion in the projected N6.04 trillion 2016 budget for social welfare packages for the vulnerable in the society.

This was even as the entire 2016 budget profile of N6.04 trillion is based on deficit of N2.22 trillion on account of N3.82 trillion projected as total revenues that can be raised by federal government in the fiscal year.

President Buhari in a Medium Term Expenditure Framework ( MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper ( FSP) , forwarded to the National Assembly on Tuesday explained that federal government would collaborate with state governments in the implementation of the N500 billion worth social welfare packages to the vulnerable.

According to him, ” The federal government will collaborate with state government to institute well structured social welfare intervention programmes such as school feeding programme initiatives, conditional cash transfer to the most vulnerable and post NYSC GRANTS.

He added that these interventions will start as pilot scheme and work towards securing the support of donor agencies and development partners in other to minimize potential risks.

He however stressed that a phased social welfare programme will be created to cater for a larger population of the poorest and most vulnerable Nigerians upon the evidence of children’s enrollment in school and evidence of immunization.

On the planned rationalization of MDAs, the president stated that government would adopt a three- pronged approach in the management of public financial resources by improving on revenue generation , collection, and quality spending in a manner that would enhance transparency , accountability and results in service delivery.

“Government will, in the near to medium -term, continue to prone the size of the federal government and its MDAs to more efficient level 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”.

The President also stated in the document that implementation of Treasury Single Account ( TSA), would be fully complemented with full implementation of the Integrated PayRoll and  Personnel Information System ( IPPIS) in all MDAs which would result in additional savings.

The proposed budget, according to the President which aims at curtailing the federal government expenditure profile, will cut down on the mounting number of claims for increases in salaries and allowances including pensions and other benefits.

Other critical projections of the budget as stated in the MTEF document are N150billion for fuel subsidy , N115 billion for the National Assembly as against N120 billion earlier projected,  proposes N29 billion for amnesty programme in the Niger Delta and  N45billion for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Others are  N77.11 billion for Universal Basic Education ( ÜBE), N1.20billion for Public Complaints Commission ( PCC) and human rights , etc.

The budget, as explained in the document, would have an upward review of percentage if capital expenditure from 16% it was last year to 30% next year.

It added that its strategic priorities focus on human and infrastructure development with emphasis on Agriculture, Education, Health, Road maintenance , security, water supply and Defence.


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