REMARKS BY PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI AT THE SIGNING OF THE 2016 APPROPRIATION BILL INTO LAW ON FRIDAY, MAY 6, 2016, ABUJA

1. 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.
2. 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. 3. Through the 2016 budget, aptly titled “Budget of
Change’’, the government seeks to fulfill 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.
4. 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.
5. In designing the 2016 budget, we made a
deliberate choice to pursue an expansionary fiscal
policy despite the huge decline in government
revenues from crude oil exports. This is why we
decided to enlarge the budget deficit at this time, to be financed principally through foreign and
domestic borrowings. All borrowings will however
be applied towards growth-enhancing capital
expenditures.
6. 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. To illustrate our renewed commitment to
infrastructural development, the 2016 budget
allocates over N200bn to road construction as
against a paltry N18bn allocated for same purpose in the 2015 budget.
7. Despite the current difficulties we will work
extra-hard to achieve our revenue projections. Our
revenue generating agencies are coming under
better management and are being re-oriented. The
implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) is expected to contribute significantly to
improving transparency over government
revenues.
8. Our determined fight against corruption is
resulting in improvements in the quality of public
expenditure. The work of the Efficiency Unit, as well as other public financial management initiatives, are
also contributing in this regard. The continuing
efforts to reduce recurrent expenditures should
hopefully free up more funds for capital
expenditure in 2017 and beyond.
9. As I said in my New Year message, living in State House does not in any way alienate me from your
daily struggles. I read the newspapers and listen to
the TV and radio news. I hear your cries. I share
your pains.
10. We are experiencing probably the toughest
economic times in the history of our Nation. I want to commend the sacrifice, resilience and toughness
of all Nigerians young and old who have despite
the hardships continued to have hope and
confidence of a great future for Nigerians. But
permit me to say that this government is also like
none other. We are absolutely committed to changing the structure of the Nigerian economy
once and for all.
11.We are working night and day to diversify the
economy so that we never again have to rely on
one commodity to survive as a country. So that we
can produce the food we eat, make our own textiles, produce most of the things we use. We
intend to create the environment for our young
peoples to be able to innovate and create jobs
through technology.
12. I cannot promise you that this will be an easy
journey, but in the interest of so much and so many we must tread this difficult path. I can assure you
that this government you have freely elected will
work with honesty and dedication, day and night
to ensure that our country prospers and that the
prosperity benefits all Nigerians. God bless Federal
Republic of Nigeria.

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