Wednesday, 27 September 2017

2018 budget will be submitted in January - Udo Udoma

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma says the ministry is working hard to ensure that the 2018 budget proposal will be sent to the National Assembly in January.

The FG had earlier said it would submit the 2018 budget to NASS by October.

Represented by the Deputy Director, Economic Growth in the ministry, Aso Vakporoye, Udoma spoke in Abuja on Wednesday during the public presentation and capacity building on 2017 agriculture budget.

“For 2018, the Federal Government part of it has been concluded with the hope that it will be submitted to the National Assembly in January.’’

 “Government is putting more effort to address the issue of dry season farming because when the budget is passed on time, it will enable it to provide funds for farmers promptly.’’

The President, National Association of Nigeria Traders (NANTS), Ken Ukaoha said that the agricultural sector presently contributed more than 22 percent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

Ukaoha said investment in the agricultural sector had the greatest potential to move a good number of people from poverty compared to other sectors.

“In the recent times, emphasis has been laid on the diversification of the economy, especially the agricultural sector, which employs a greater number of the country’s population. Some initiatives, such as consuming ‘Made in Nigeria’ products, have also been promoted as a way to encourage domestic production of agricultural goods for the country.’’ According to him, stakeholders input have somewhat changed the pattern of cut and paste budgeting in the country.

Ukaoha said that the agricultural sector was underfunded when compared with other countries of similar socioeconomic status.

The Budget Research Consultant of the association, Tunde Jimoh, said Nigeria was a net importer of foods and its farmers could not compete with their counterparts elsewhere in the world.

He said the country needed to adopt new technologies to produce more food and review the funding for agriculture. Jimoh said that most states had not embraced the idea of open budget system.

According to him, Open Budget Initiative is a global research and advocacy programme to promote public access to budget information and the adoption of accountable budget systems.

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