By Sadiq Umar
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday directed the National Planning Commission (NPC) to come up with a framework for the 2016 national budget that will reduce recurrent expenditure and prioritize developmental projects.
Buhari had earlier promised during his campaign to ensure that the nation’s capital expenditure gets better share of the national budget.
Reacting to briefing from the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Dr. Bassey Akpanyung at the Presidential Villa Monday, the President directed the NPC to go back to drawing board to fashion out a budget that would give priority to capital expenditure.
He told Akpanyung and other directors of the NPC that capital projects must now be given the fullest possible priority, noting that Nigeria cannot achieve development without adequate investment in 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,” Buhari declared.
The Executive Secretary of the NPC had informed the President that Nigeria’s planning system was beset by many challenges.
These challenges, he said, included 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.