The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, has said the implementation of the provisions of the 2016 budget will lead to a sustainable turnaround for the Nigerian economy in spite of the prevailing challenges.
He said the budget was designed to, among others, stop the economic decline and restore the economy to the path of growth.
The Minister made the revelation while interacting with Old Boys of Kings College on the 2016 Budget, in Lagos on Saturday.
He explained that the 2016 Budget was designed to actively pursue macroeconomic policies and growth strategies that will reflate the economy, by investing in key infrastructure and social development.
The decision to adopt the Zero Base Budgeting, ZBB, system was also deliberately taken to complement this objective because it requires Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, of government to carry out fresh evaluation of all projects/programmes based on the priorities of government, he added.
He noted that the drop in the price of crude oil had given the economy a bashing and added that disruptions caused by the activities of militants have led to significant revenue shortfalls.
The Minister said, “since 2014 the economy has been experiencing continuing decline in revenue, weakening balance of payments, declining foreign reserves, rising public debt, weak capital market, rising inflation, increasing infrastructure and housing deficits, rising unemployment… leading to declining GDP”.
Apart from the challenges on the local front, the Minister said the situation was further compounded by the general weakening of economic growth in emerging market economies and security challenges in different parts of the world as well as the local security challenges, ranging from the Boko Haram insurgency in parts of the North East, militant activity in the Niger Delta, ethnic agitations in the South East, clashes with Fulani herdsmen in different parts of the country and other acts of criminality, such as kidnapping.