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FG to increase Excess Crude Account to $3.95bn

Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr. Emmanuel Kachikwu
The Federal Government, in a bid to attain robust external reserves, is planning to increase the amount in the Excess Crude Account from the current balance of $2.25bn to $3.95bn next year.

It is also targeting fresh private sector investment of $1.5bn (N315.2bn) in infrastructure within the 2016 fiscal period.

These figures are contained in the Medium Term Plan 2016-20120 prepared by the National Planning Commission and submitted to Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government for validation.

The monetary estimates for the 2016 budget are still being worked out by the respective MDAs and may be ready by mid-November, according to the timeline stipulated in the document.

In the document, which was obtained by our correspondent in Abuja on Monday, the government said it would be focussing on six policy thrusts aimed at stimulating growth and reducing the level of poverty in the economy.

The policy thrusts are economic, social development, infrastructure, governance, environment, state and regional development.

The government, according to the document, is also planning to increase the contribution of some key sectors of the economy in a bid to create jobs and reduce the level of poverty in the country.

In this regard, the objectives of the government from next year will be to increase the contribution of steel, mining, industrial and manufacturing sectors to the Gross Domestic Product from the current 10.1 per cent to 11.8 per cent.

In the oil and gas sector, the document stated that the focus would be to increase exploration and production using new innovative and environment-friendly methods.

“The policy thrust in the oil and gas sector is to increase local refining capacity to serve both domestic and regional markets from 25.95 per cent to 85 per cent,” it stated.

In terms of social development, the Federal Government, according to the document, will be protecting the poor and most vulnerable people in the society.

In this regard, it is targeting an enrolment rate of 92 per cent in 2016 up from the current level of 86 per cent, as well as reducing the infant mortality rate from 74 per 1,000 birth to 60.

The Secretary, National Planning Commission, Mr. Bassey Akpanyadung, had while speaking on the 2016 budget, said the nation’s budgeting process would no longer be business as usual.

He said the policy thrust of the government must be consistent with the zero-based budgeting system, which will come into effect next year.

With this development, Akpanyadung said the leadership of the respective government MDAs would need to build their capacities in the areas of planning, research and statistics.

He said the monitoring and evaluation system would be strengthened with emphasis on physical monitoring of projects, adding that the envelop system of budgeting would no longer be used in the budgeting process.

The envelop system was introduced by the Federal Government in 2003 and works by providing each MDA with a maximum amount for its capital and recurrent needs for the fiscal year.

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