President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the National Planning Commission (NPC) to produce a framework for a 2016 national budget that will reduce recurrent expenditure and prioritize developmental projects.
Buhari, who gave the directive yesterday after the executive secretary of the commission, Dr. Bassey Akpanyung, briefed him on the NPC’s state of affairs at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, asked the Commission’s scribe to go back to the drawing board and map out a new framework for the 2016 budget.
Senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, noted in a statement that, at the briefing, Buhari told Dr. Akpanyung and directors of the NPC that capital projects must now be given the fullest possible priority.
This, the president said, was because Nigeria cannot achieve real development without adequate investment in capital and infrastructural projects.
“In carrying out its surveillance role on the economy, review and appraisal of policies, the Commission should devise a plan for a realignment of the budget so that capital projects can be really prioritized,” Shehu quoted the president as directing the NPC officials.
He added that Akpanyung had earlier informed the president that Nigeria’s planning system was beset by many challenges.
Akpanyung listed the challenges to include the non-alignment of national plans with the annual budget and poor capability in the departments of planning, research and statistics in the various government ministries.