Nigerian govt says implementation of 2016 budget on track

*Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed.

*Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed.

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

26 May 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja — The Federal Government on Wednesday announced that the implementation of the 2016 budget has started and that funds have been released on a systematic basis.

The Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, who spoke to the media in Abuja, disclosed that “Funds have been released for projects that were ready to go and implementation has started in earnest.”

According to her, the 2016 budget had some unique properties and also excep­tional in a number of ways. “Let me say that the budget of N6.06 trillion so far is the largest that Nigeria has ever had and it is very ambitious. It has a capital provision of 29 per cent,” she said

Mrs Ahmed also described the focus of government on the non-oil revenue as a seri­ous commitment to diver­sify the economy, pointing out that in previous years, the oil revenue in the budget ranged from an average of 70 percent.

She listed the provi­sion for social intervention programme as very critical in the budget and that 34 priority programmes have also been identified to achieve maxi­mum results.

She, however, called on staff of her Ministry and its parastatals to be champions of the change agenda of the Mu­hammadu Buhari administra­tion. The Minister made the call at the weekend during the opening of a five-day Special­ised Training Programme on Reform and Service Improve­ment organised for the staff of her Ministry and its parastat­als in Abuja.

Mrs Ahmed said that civil servants were the engine room for growth and devel­opment and implementation of government development projects.

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