Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has finally signed the 2016 Budget titled the Budget Of Change into law.
The 6.06 trillion naira budget of change was signed in the presence of Vice President Yemi Osibanjo, the senate president Bukola Saraki, the speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara among others.
The president thanked all members of the House of Representatives and National Assembly for their cooperation in making the budget signing a reality. He stated that he would speak more on the details, implementation, and the over-all national economic and social policies of the budget in his address on Democracy day, May 29th.
He also sought to allay the fears of Nigerians who believed the President was unaware of their predicament:
“As I said in my New Year message, living in the 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.
“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.
“Though 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 N6.06trn. Further details of the approved budget, as well as our Strategic Implementation Plan for the 2016 budget, will be provided by the Honorable Minister of Budget & National Planning,” President Buhari said.
He highlighted his governments commitment to infrastructure, with 200 billion naira allocated to it in the Budget of Change compared to 18 billion naira of the 2015 budget. Concerning revenue generation, he 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.”
The president added that his change government seeks to bring about a favorable condition for production in Nigeria.
“We are working night and day to diversify the economy such 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 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. But I can assure you 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.”