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.