President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday. May 6, said that his administration budgeted N200 billion to road construction unlike former president Goodluck Jonathan, who allocated "paltry" N18 billion to it in 2015.
He stated this shortly before signing the 2016 budget into law.
“To illustrate our renewed commitment to infrastructural development, the 2016 budget allocates over N200 billion to road construction as against a paltry N18 billion allocated for same purpose in the 2015 budget,” Buhari said.
He said his government reserved N350 billion for capital construction projects to stimulate the country’s ailing economy.
“The signing of the budget today will trigger concerted efforts to reflate the Nigerian economy, a key element of which is an immediate injection of N350bn into the economy by way of capital projects,” he said.
Following months of accusations and counter-accusation between the executive and the National Assembly over figures and projects proposed in the document, Buhari signed the budget on Friday afternoon.
“It gives me great pleasure today to sign the first full-year budget of this administration into law. I thank the leadership of the National Assembly, in particular, the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and indeed all members of the National Assembly for their cooperation in making this a reality,” Buhari said.
The president assured that 2017 budget would be free of controversy and smoother.
“The budget is intended to signpost a renewal of our commitment to restoring the budget as a serious article of faith with the Nigerian people. This Administration is committed to ensuring that henceforth the annual appropriation bill is presented to the National Assembly in time for the passage of the Act before the beginning of the fiscal year,” he said.
He said details of the budget will be made available by the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma.
“Through the 2016 budget, aptly titled “Budget of Change’’, the government seeks to fulfil its own side of the social contract. The Budget I have signed into law provides for aggregate expenditures of N6.06trn. Further details of the approved budget, as well as our Strategic Implementation Plan for the 2016 budget, will be provided by the Honourable Minister of Budget and National Planning.
“I shall be speaking in more details about the Budget, its implementation and the over-all national economic and social policies of the Government in my address on May 29th, God willing,” Buhari said.
According to him, his administration exercised prudence in signing the budget because of falling crude oil prices.