President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the National Planning Commission (NPC) to go back to the drawing board and produce the framework for a 2016 national budget that will reduce recurrent expenditure and prioritise developmental projects.
Senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity Malam Garba Shehu said Buhari gave the order at the Presidential Villa in Abuja yesterday after receiving a briefing from the executive secretary of the NPC Bassey Akpanyung.
Shehu said the president told Akpanyung and directors of the commission that capital projects must now be given the fullest possible priority because Nigeria cannot achieve real development without adequate investment in capital and infrastructural 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 prioritized,” he quoted the President as saying.
The presidential aide said Akpanyung had earlier informed Buhari that Nigeria’s planning system was beset by many challenges.
He said Akpanyung listed the challenges as including 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.