Experts Urge FG To Prioritise Capital Spending In 2017 Budget

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The federal government in collaboration with the ministry of Budget and National planning are working hard to revamp the economy out of recession.

During a retreat in Abuja themed: “Building Inter-Ministerial Synergy for Effective Planning and Budgeting in Nigeria”, President Muhammadu Buhari expressed the need for cabinet members to think “out of the box” and propose strategies towards moving the country out of recession.

Speaking at the event, the Minister of Budget and National planning Senator Udoma Udo Udoma identified the major factor responsible for the recession as the over dependence of the Nigerian economy on revenues from a single commodity, petroleum.

He indicated that the Government is working hard to resolve the militant disruptions in the Niger Delta and in addition, a fiscal stimulus strategy is being developed to generate and inject large amount of funds, principally in foreign currency, estimated at $10 – $15 billion into the economy through Asset Sales, Advance Payment for License renewals, infrastructure concession, use of recovered funds etc to bridge the funding gap.

The participants reached key resolutions which were developing an Economic Emergency Recovery Bill, the need to prioritise capital spending in the 2017 budget in the area of infrastructure development, agriculture and social intervention, local debt repayment including debt owed states and contractors to stimulate spending.

Experts at the events said there is a need for the federal government to work closely with the private sector operators to bridge the funding gap in the infrastructural development, especially given that government is expected to spend about N5 trillion annually for infrastructure project. They also suggested that government should improve the communication of its initiatives which would help to give reassurance to the public and build confidence required to stimulate private sector investment.

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