Pres. Buhari to reduce recurrent expenditure in 2016 budget

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Buhari-officePresident Muhammadu Buhari aims to cut recurrent expenditure in next year’s budget in order to prioritise development projects, the presidency said in an emailed statement on Monday.

Recurrent expenditure has ballooned over the years and capital spending shrunk to just 12 percent of the 2015 budget, approved in May at an assumed oil price of $53 a barrel.

“In carrying out its role in surveillance of the economy, review and appraisal of policies, the (National Planning) Commission should devise a plan for a realignment of the budget so that capital projects can be really prioritized,” Buhari was quoted as saying.

Due to the slump in global oil prices, Africa’s biggest crude producer has been hit hard as oil sales account for about 70 percent of government revenues.

Buhari’s administration has already had to put together a bail-out for the three tiers of government, particularly for debt-ridden states that could no longer cover salaries.

In May, the former finance minister Ngozi Okonko-Iweala said that the government had not released any funds for capital projects so far this year, stalling the construction of much-needed infrastructure, such as highways, railroads and bridges, that are key for economic growth.

 

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