By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr Udoma Udo Udoma, has said that the 2017 budget was designed to expand partnership between the public and private sectors as well as stimulate the development of capital to leverage and catalyse resources for growth.
The minister made this statement at the public presentation of the 2017 budget proposal on Monday December 19, 2016 in Abuja.
According to him, other key objectives of the 2017 budget include; focusing on critical on-going infrastructure projects such as roads railways, power, ICT, amongst others, which have quick and positive impacts on the economy; Utilizing special economic zones and industrial parks as vehicle to accelerate domestic economic activities for innovation and wealth creation contributing to food security and creating platform for agro-business in agriculture supply chain through the agriculture green alternative plan.
Others, he said, are establishing a social housing fund to deepen the mortgage system and expand its availability across all states of the federation; Encouraging and stimulating the growth of small and medium scale industries for innovation, job creation, productivity and wealth creation; and to provide social safety nets for poor and vulnerable Nigerians.
The Minister explained that the key assumptions and macro-framework for the 2017 budget are; Oil production- 2.2 million barrels per day, benchmark oil price – $42.5 per barrels, exchange rate – N305 per Dollar, inflation rate – 15.74 percent, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Growth Rate – 2.5 percent, Nominal Consumption (Ntrillion) – 87.95 and Nominal GDP (N’trillion)- 107.96.
Speaking on the key budgetary reform initiatives to improve the revenue of the country’s economy as contained in the 2017 budget, Mr Udoma identified the following areas as, subjecting the joint venture operations to a new funding mechanism, which will allow for cost recovery; sustaining the use of TSA to monitor the financial activities of over 900 MDAs from a single platform.
Other areas are to broadening the tax base, improve effectiveness of revenue collecting agencies, improve the tax compliance as well as reducing leakages by tackling mis-invoicing and introducing the single window to drive customs efficiency.
Also, important is to improve the performance independent revenue of government by ensuring that all MDAs, especially the revenue generating MDAs to present their budget in advance and remit their operating surplus accordingly.
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