Buhari to focus on job creation in next four years, Udoma says

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Udoma Udo Udoma, minister of budget and national planning, has announced that the focus of the federal government second tenure will be on job creation as more work need to be done in ensuring a more stabilized economy.

The minister giving account of his stewardship of the ministry at the End-of-Tenure Press Conference in Abuja on Tuesday, said that a lot has been done in the last three and half years but more need to be done especially in ensuring job creation for youths.

“We have done a lot in this tenure to achieve the key mandates of this Ministry which include preparing the annual budgets as well as the medium-term expenditure frameworks, rendering policy advice to the Federal Government on all aspects of national development, amongst others, however, the focus of  the next level will be on job creation, we  will concentrate more on the part of the economy that will create jobs”.

Speaking further, the minister said that efforts were put in place to ensure that the Budget Office was properly integrated as part of the Ministry by adopting the zero-based approach for budget preparation, which required justification of every budget item for funds allocation.

He explained that the online budget preparation was introduced to ensure that the identity of any person inputting any budget item can be ascertained adding that it has improved the integrity of the budget.

“Most importantly, we were able to ensure that our executive budget proposals are aligned with the strategic policies of government as set out in the Medium-Term Fiscal Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper, and other governmental programmes and plans”.

The minister speaking on the measures adopted to address the economic decline in 2016 said that the initiatives included: the introduction of an expansionary budget … Read More...

Udoma blames lack of synergy in government for delayed budgets

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Udoma Udo Udoma, minister of budget and national planning on Tuesday said that achieving a January to December budget cycle require a very close working relationship of trust and synergy between the executive and the national assembly arms of governments which unfortunately was not achieved in the last four years.

He said “The only way to return to a January to December fiscal year, is for there to be agreement  between the executive and  the national assembly to produce a budget on the basis of significant assumptions. Unfortunately, we were unable to achieve this in the last four years”.

During his end of tenure press briefing in Abuja, Udoma said that there is no legal requirement for the budget year to run from January to December adding that a January to December fiscal year is however  more predictable and would help the private sector and other economic players in planning.

“It is much easier to track budget performance if both the recurrent and the capital budgets run from the same dates. It is therefore desirable to return to the January to December fiscal year.

It is therefore desirable to return to the January to December fiscal year”, he added.

The minister also stressed that returning to the January to December fiscal year for a budget when the operation of the current budget only commenced in June or July is a very challenging assignment adding that in order to achieve a return to a 1st of January commencement date the budget must ideally be delivered to the National Assembly by September. 

“But when you are operating a budget which commenced only in June, or July, by September you would have had no idea how the existing budget is likely to perform. Indeed, given the procurement process, Read More...