The record 6.06 trillion budget is expected to stimulate the nation’s slowing economy which took a hit as the price of crude oil, Nigeria’s main export, collapsed in the global market.
IMMEDIATE BOOST FOR INFRASTRUCTURE
Speaking after signing the budget into law the President said that N350billion will immediately be injected into the economy by way of capital projects. The President also said that N200billion was earmarked for roads infrastructure. Other witnesses to the budget signing ceremony were the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma; Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun; Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Ita Enang; Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (House of Representatives), Samaila Kawo; National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), John Odigie-Oyegun; Chairman Senate Committee on Appropriation, Danjuma Goje and Chairman House of Reps Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumuni Jubril. In his remark after the signing ceremony the President said “It gives me great pleasure today to sign the first full-year budget of this administration into law. I thank the leadership of the National Assembly, in particular, the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and indeed all members of the National Assembly for their cooperation in making this a reality.
A RENEWAL OF FAITH WITH NIGERIANS
“The budget is intended to signpost a renewal of our commitment to restoring the budget as a serious article of faith with the Nigerian people. This Administration is committed to ensuring that henceforth the annual appropriation bill is presented to the National Assembly in time for the passage of the Act before the beginning of the fiscal year. “Through the 2016 budget, aptly titled “Budget of Change”, the government seeks to fulfill its own side of the social contract. The Budget I have signed into law provides for aggregate expenditures of N6.06 trillion. Further details of the approved budget, as well as our Strategic Implementation Plan for the 2016 budget, will be provided by the Honourable Minister of Budget and National Planning.
MORE DETAILS FOR MAY 29
“I shall be speaking in more details about the Budget, its implementation and the over-all national economic and social policies of the Government in my address on May 29th, God willing. In designing the 2016 budget, we made a deliberate choice to pursue an expansionary fiscal policy despite the huge decline in government revenues from crude oil exports. This is why we decided to enlarge the budget deficit at this time, to be financed principally through foreign and domestic borrowings. All borrowings will however be applied towards growth-enhancing capital expenditures. “The signing of the budget today will trigger concerted efforts to reflate the Nigerian economy, a key element of which is an immediate injection of N350bn into the economy by way of capital projects. To illustrate our renewed commitment to infrastructural development, the 2016 budget allocates over N200bn to road construction as against a paltry N18bn allocated for same purpose in the 2015 budget.
Continuing the President said “Despite the current difficulties we will work extra-hard to achieve our revenue projections. Our revenue generating agencies are coming under better management and are being re-oriented. The implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) is expected to contribute significantly to improving transparency over government revenues.
I SHARE YOUR PAINS
“Our determined fight against corruption is resulting in improvements in the quality of public expenditure. The work of the Efficiency Unit, as well as other public financial management initiatives, are also contributing in this regard. The continuing efforts to reduce recurrent expenditures should hopefully free up more funds for capital expenditure in 2017 and beyond. As I said in my New Year message, living in State House does not in any way alienate me from your daily struggles. I read the newspapers and listen to the TV and radio news. I hear your cries. I share your pains. “We are experiencing probably the toughest economic times in the history of our Nation. I want to commend the sacrifice, resilience and toughness of all Nigerians young and old who have despite the hardships continued to have hope and confidence of a great future for Nigerians. But permit me to say that this government is also like none other. We are absolutely committed to changing the structure of the Nigerian economy once and for all. We are working night and day to diversify the economy so that we never again have to rely on one commodity to survive as a country. So that we can produce the food we eat, make our own textiles, produce most of the things we use. We intend to create the environment for our young people to be able to innovate and create jobs through technology. “I cannot promise you that this will be an easy journey, but in the interest of so much and so many we must tread this difficult path. I can assure you that this government you have freely elected will work with honesty and dedication, day and night to ensure that our country prospers and that the prosperity benefits all Nigerians. God bless Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE
Meanwhile the news that the President has signed the 2016 into law buoyed activities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) with the market indices growing by 0.54 per cent after declining for two consecutive days. Investors gained N47 billion as the market capitalisation closed at N8.84 trillion compared with N8.79 trillion recorded on Thursday. Mallam Garba Kurfi, Managing Director, APT Securities and Funds Ltd., attributed the growth to investors reaction to the signing of the budget. Kurfi said that signing of the budget had ended the impasse between the presidency and the lawmakers for over four weeks, adding that the uncertainty surrounding the budget had ended with the signing. A breakdown of the price movement chart indicated that Forte Oil led the gainers’ chart, growing by N20.44 to close at N219.92 per share. Mobil Nigeria followed with a gain of N7.29 to close at N155.09, while Flour Mills Nigeria gained N1.83 to close at N22.34 per share. Guinness appreciated by N1 to close at N95, while Cadbury increased by 78k to close at N16.46 per share. On the other hand, PZ topped the losers’ chart, dropping 68k to close at N20.62 per share. Nigerian Breweries trailed with a loss of 24k to close at N115.08, while Ecobank Transnational Incorporated lost 20k to close at N14.50 per share. Dangote Sugar Refinery shed 11k to close at N5.79 and Portland Paint also declined by 11k to close at N2.17 per share. FBN Holdings remained the most active, accounting for 30.73 million shares worth N107.99 million. Transcorp followed with an exchange of 20.07 million shares valued at N20.66 million, while Zenith Bank sold 14.22 million shares worth N185.69 million. Guaranty Trust Bank traded 11.19 million shares valued at N194.04 million and Access Bank traded 9.69 million shares worth N40.61 million. In all, investors traded a total of 181.11 million shares valued at N1.17 billion as against 178.87 million shares worth N1.48 billion exchanged on Thursday.