Acting President Professor Yemi Osinbanjo yesterday signed the 20117 budget into law. This was after President Muhammadu Buhari had instructed him to do so through a letter written to the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma. A previous attempt to sign the budget last week, was abruptly cancelled.
Signing of the budget will bring calm to the polity, as some analysts had begun to speculate if the Acting President was truly in charge. Below are 5 key points from the Acting President’s speech after signing the budget:
- The preparation process for the 2017 budget was much easier compared to the 2016 budget. Professor Osinbanjo attributed this to increased cooperation with the National Assembly and better preparation by the Ministry of Budget and Planning.
- The delay in the presentation and signing of this year’s budget was due to alterations made to key projects by the National Assembly. The executive will send a virement concerning these projects to the National Assembly.
- The two arms of government have a resolved to return the country to a 12 month fiscal year beginning in January and ending in December. This will enable the private sector to plan as financial year-end for most companies is in December.The 2018 budget will be submitted to the National Assembly by October this year. The National Assembly has also resolved to pass next year’s budget by 2017.
- The 2017 budget keys into the administration’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and has 5 key priorities. Stabilizing the macroeconomic environment, agriculture and food security, ensuring self-sufficiency in energy and petroleum products, developing transport infrastructure, and improving industrialization through support for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs)
- Over N2 trillion of this year’s budget will be spent on capital expenditure.