Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday said the present administra­tion took the bold step to change the budget­ing system in order to achieve the nation’s socio-economic goals amidst dwindling oil rev­enues and the vast num­ber of Nigerians who live in poverty.

Osinbajo disclosed this while meeting with Permanent Secretaries and Directors-General during a one-day sensi­tisation session on the 2016 budget and 2016-2020 Medium Term Plan of the Federal Government.

According to a state­ment issued by his Spe­cial Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, the Vice Presi­dent said the greatest challenge facing the country was controlling increasing recurrent ex­penditure and freeing up resources for growth-related capital expendi­ture.

Osinbajo stated gov­ernment would do some­thing about poverty, saying that in address­ing the issue, budgeting must be done differently.

He stressed that bud­get planning under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administra­tion would restore the long term policy-based approach to budgeting, alongside a zero- based budgeting, which ques­tions all expenses and ensuring greater trans­parency.

Osinbajo noted that unlike the traditional budgeting where base­line assumptions were taken for granted, under the zero-based budget­ing, expenditures would be reduced since every item would have to be justified.

He said the Treasury Single Account, TSA, in­troduced by the govern­ment would help to avoid the under-declaration of revenues by ministries, departments and agen­cies of government.

He disclose that the President had already instructed that every agency, including the military and the uni­versities, must join the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information Systems, IPPIS, which would help in curtailing some abuses in the sala­ries and emoluments’ processes.

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