According to reports, the Minister of Budget and Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, on Friday said the executive will collaborate with the National Assembly towards ensuring early passage of the 2017 Appropriation Bill.
He also assured Nigerians that the crisis witnessed in the passage of the 2016 budget will not be experienced in the 2017 budget, saying the National Assembly may not spend up to three months to look at the budget.
Udoma, who was a guest on Channels TV said Nigeria is in difficult economic situation and as such cannot afford to waste much time on the passage of the budget.
According to him “I don’t believe the National Assembly will need three months to go through the budget. Our plan is to get it to them in October. We are going to work with them and try to encourage and support them so that before the end of the year, the budget will be passed”.
“We want to do extensive consultation with the leadership and membership of the National Assembly to get their support because we are in a difficult economic situation and we cannot do business as usual. We cannot spend three, four months over the budget. We just cannot afford that time. We cannot repeat 2016 in 2017”.
“We can’t do the same thing every year and expect different result. So, we have to work together to achieve it. We will work with the National Assembly, we will seek their cooperation, we will seek their support and I am sure as patriotic Nigerians, they themselves will come on board to make sure that this budget is passed and is out before the end of the year. Nigerians expect that from us”.
He further explained that the country is in need of money, which is needed to raise more money. He then opined that “what we need to recharge the economy, is foreign currency”.
The Minister said that the ministry had a fiscal stimulus plan which they have been developing over the last month. According to him, other plans by the ministry to stabilise the economy to include “asset sales, concessioning, advance payment from licensing rounds”, all aimed at raising between 10-15 billion dollars.
Udoma also used the medium to solicit the understanding of Nigerians, saying everything is being done to ease their pains.
“I want Nigerians to be patient, we are on top of the Job, we know what to do but it takes time” he said.