President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, August 3, in Abuja ordered the National Planning Commission, NPC, to reproduce a framework for the 2016 budget that will cut down recurrent expenditure and prioritize developmental projects.
A statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, stated that Buhari gave the order after receiving a briefing from the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Bassey Akpanyung, at the Presidential Villa.
“The president told Akpanyung and directors of the NPC that capital projects must now be given the fullest possible priority because Nigeria cannot achieve real development without adequate investment in capital and infrastructure projects. In carrying out its role in surveillance of 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 prioritised,” the statement read in part.
The executive secretary of the NPC had informed the president that Nigeria’s planning system was plagued by a wave of challenges.
He stated that these challenges include the non-alignment of national plans with the annual budget and inadequate capacity in the Departments of Planning, Research and Statistics in the various government ministries.
However, Akpanyung had after his meeting with the president told reporters that the president had directed the commission to identify core capital projects and concentrate on them instead of embarking on too many projects at the same time.