The Federal Government of Nigeria through the Budget Office of the Federation, in collaboration with the UK Department for International Development’s Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL) programme on Wednesday held a media dialogue in Abuja on the proposed 2018 federal budget.
While presenting an overview of the proposed 2018 budget, the Director General of the Budget Office of the Federation Ben Akabueze, said the media dialogue was aimed at enhancing the media and civil society’s understanding of “current budget issues and reform efforts” of the federal government adding that the government intended to continue with the dialogue in subsequent years, as part of its commitment to open budgeting.
“For too long,” said Akabueze, “the budget had been an annual ritual – nobody among the general public was paying attention. It is significant that it is now attracting public attention; similar attention should be given to the state and local government budgets as well”.
He recalled that President Buhari had in November 2017 presented the sum of N8.6 trillion as the proposed 2018 budget – which represented an increase of 16 percent from the 2017 budget – to the National Assembly, stating that the plan of the federal government was to restore and diversify the economy as well as place it on a path for sustainable and inclusive growth.
“To build on the recovery from recession, we need to spur growth; the economy must grow in double-digits to achieve growth. We are also trying to grow the budget and hope to do that in favour of the capital expenditure so as to continue to narrow the gap towards achieving the 70:30 (recurrent-capital) ratios. And for the first time in our history, donor funding is going to be included in the 2018 budget so as to increase transparency and accountability,” said Akabueze.
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