The 2016 Budget is still in the works, the Presidency has said. The clarification is in response to the stringent criticism that have trailed the N6.08 trillion 2016 budget earlier submitted to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari.
A top official said the media speculations about the allocations to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) are incorrect because the final tally of such allocations is still being tinkered with by the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning.
The official said: “Some of the figures being bandied in news reports are probably from some of the working documents which officials of the ministry are working with.”
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media, Mallam Garba Shehu, urged the media to exercise patience until the National Assembly gets the details of the budget.
Shehu said: “When the National Assembly returns from recess, the lawmakers will be given the full estimates of the budget, including what is voted for each department, ministries and agencies. What is voted for the State House will also be included.
“Some of these figures being quoted are strange to us.”
ABOVE: Buhari presenting the 2016 Budget to the Joint Sitting of the National Assembly
Buhari on December 29, last year presented a budget estimate of N6.08 trillion to a joint sitting of the National Assembly.
The budget is predicated on a capital expenditure of N1.8 trillion – an increase of over 300 per cent from the 2015 vote of N557 billion.
Other highlights of the budget are: Recurrent expenditure slashed to 70%, a deficit of N1.8 trillion to be financed by domestic and foreign borrowings.
It also projects the recovery of N350 billion looted cash, pegs oil benchmark at $38 per barrel and fixes the exchange rate at N198/$. The budget expects a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 4.37 per cent.
Some of the reports on the budget in the media indicate that the government intends to spend N39 billion in running the Office of the President with major allocations going to BMW cars purchase at N3.9 billion and N189 million to change tyres for some specified vehicles in the Presidency.
The Presidency has also been reported to have allocated about N1.4 billion to presidential travels.
The State House has also been reported to have estimated N27 billion for foodstuff.
The reports also state that the State House plans to spend N27. 5 million on computers and N764.7 million on recreational activities.