Shocking surprises in 2016 budget

buhari1w-579x336President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, sent the Medium Term Expenditure Frame Work (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) to the National Assembly with shocking surprises.

The Federal Government has allocated N500 billion for unemployed graduates and feeding of school children, among other social welfare programmes in the N6.07 trillion budget for 2016.

Buhari emphasised in a letter to the Senate president, which was read at plenary, that the ‘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 immunisation.

In the 2016 budget, about N63.29 billion is expected to be expended on subsidy (including N150 billion for 2015 arrears); N20 billion for the Presidential Amnesty Programme in 2016 down from N47.39 billion voted in 2015 and N39.88 billion voted for Frontier Exploration Services. The National Assembly budget was slashed from N120 billion in 2015 to N115 billion in 2016.

In new borrowings, the Federal Government proposed N1.2 trillion (domestic) and N635 billion (foreign), totalling N1.835.88 trillion in 2016.

According to the MTEF/ FSP, the Federal Government recovered N350.33 billion in misappropriated funds, which will be injected to the 2016 budget.

The recoveries include N137.90 billion (refunds/ recoveries from Strategic Alliance Contracts); N162.43 billion (NNPC/CBN) and other recoveries, which amounted to N50 billion. The MTEF/FSP is the precursor to the budget itself, as provided in the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA).

On the social welfare programme, Buhari stated in the MTEF/FSP: “The Federal Government will collaborate with state governments to institute well-structured social welfare intervention programmes such as: school feeding programme initiatives, conditional cash transfer to the most vulnerable, and post-NYSC grant.

“N500 billion has been provisioned in the 2016 budget as social investments for these programmes. These interventions will start as a pilot scheme and we will work towards securing the support of donor agencies and our development partners in order to minimise potential risks.” -The Sun

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