Watch: 2017 budget presentation by President Buhari to the National Assembly today.
President Muhammadu Buhari has presented N7.298tn as budget proposal for year 2017.
Buhari, in a joint session at the National Assembly today, in Abuja, said the budget which was tagged : “budget of recovery and growth”, aims at emancipating Nigerians from the clutches of reliance on imported goods, unemployment and economic stagnation, towards the path of industrial evolution.
President Buhari said the core of the budget would be to revive the manufacturing sector, encourage entrepreneurship as well as ensure that henceforth, petroleum would be refined in Nigeria.
He said: “In the past 18 months, we experienced low oil prices. We saw our foreign exchange earning cut by about 60%. Our reserves eroded, and our consumption declined, and we could not import to meet our needs.”
He further blamed the country’s economic woes on the past administration’s lack of planning and reckless spending.
“For the records, for many years, we depended on oil for foreign exchange revenues, in the age of high oil prices, we did not save we squandered.” He said Nigeria will change, when our habits change.
The president expressed concern that while “nearly every home and family in Nigeria is affected one way or the other,” due to lack of industrial growth and heavy reliance on imported goods “we ensure steady jobs for the nationals of other countries.”
This, the president said will no longer be the order of the day under his watch, as he would provide the enabling structure to ensure that local manufacturers thrive and that Nigerians patronize local goods. “Our objective is to make Nigeria a new manufacturing hub.”
President Buhari also added that the harsh economic realities that has set in has stirred in Nigerians their creative abilities, which he said would eventually lead to a “new era” where “we grow what we eat and consume what we make.”
In his remarks, the Senate President Dr Bukola Saraki commended the early presentation of the budget, unlike what was usually the case – lateness, in the past.
He said the task of budgeting had always been herculean in Nigeria, which was why he had to inaugurate a “joint Executive/Legislative committee and a technical committee to review our budget systems and identify ways we can make them more transparent, more participatory, more result oriented and therefore more effective.”