The PROPOSED FEDERAL BUDGET was N1.88 trillion

Authorized was N1.9 trillion.

Nigeria's 2006 Budget Speech by President Obasanjo

by
His Excellency
President Olusegun Obasanjo
At the Joint Session of the National Assembly
Abuja, Tuesday, December 6, 2005


PROTOCOLS

I am very pleased to present to you today in the Joint Session of the National
Assembly, the 2006 Appropriation Bill, which like its predecessor in 2005 has
been prepared in the context of a Medium Term Expenditure Framework that looks
at projections for years 2007 and 2008. In addition, and for the first time,
this budget is accompanied by Medium Term Sector Strategies of our key spending
Ministries and Agencies such as Education, Health, Power, Works, Water
Resources, Agriculture, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and the Nigeria Police.
These sector strategies are business plans that outline the key initiatives and
expected targets or results that these agencies are to achieve. They form part
of our effort of continuous improvement of the budget formulation process.

Budget 2006 has come to you later in the year – in fact virtually two months
later than our record for budget 2005, which came to you October 12 last year.
This later presentation of the budget is, as you know, mutually agreed between
us and is borne out of the experience of Budget 2005, which though it was tabled
early, met with significant delays and difficulties in the appropriations
process. A significant part of the reason for the delays was felt to be that the
relevant Committees of the National Assembly had not had enough discussion and
dialogue with their respective Ministries over the provisions prior to
presentation of the Appropriation Bill. My fervent hope is that this time
around, with the kind of cooperation and collaboration we have had with
Committee members and their chairpersons as well as with National Assembly
Leadership, the process will go much quicker and faster this year so that the
Appropriation Bill will be passed as promptly as possible. At this juncture, let
me express appreciation and commendation to the National Assembly for the
enhanced understanding, cooperation, collaboration and dialogue that have
characterized Legislative Executive relations in the past year.

Budget 2006 continues with and accelerates the theme of budget 2005 with a focus
on “Building Physical and Human Infrastructure for Job Creation and Poverty
Eradication.” Budget 2006 is the third of our NEEDS budgets and as such
continues the support for the reform and development of our economy that was
started with the 2004 budget. Budget 2006 in addition pays special attention to
social safety nets, and to other important national priorities such as provision
for the Population. Census N9billion, for modern voting and electoral equipment
and techniques N55billion, cushioning the impact of public service reforms
N50billion and provision for restructuring and monetising parastatals
N50billion. The budget also explicitly provides N75billion to cushion the impact
of petroleum prices which we expect will be matched by the states and local
governments for a total of N150 billion. I have pledged that there shall be no
further increase in the price of petroleum products for the year 2006 and this
explicit and transparent provision in the budget is meant to reassure Nigerians
that this pledge will be sustained.

Budget 2006 also tackles the problem of contractor and pension arrears two
important social and financial issues that have plagued the country. I shall
elaborate on this later. Budget 2006 commits all the gains from debt relief,
that is, the federal government resources that would have gone for external debt
service in 2006, amounting to N1 OObilliion, to poverty reducing expenditures in
Health, Power, Education, Agriculture, Water Resources, Environment, Housing,
and support for women and youth. All the expenditures are targeted at programmes
and projects aimed at scaling up our effort to reach the Millennium Development
Goals (MDGs).

Distinguished and Honourable members of the National Assembly, with the features
that I have just highlighted it is clear that budget 2006 is about people, about
speeding up the delivery of basic social and infrastructural services and
cushioning the impact of difficult economic times on our people.

The budget was presented on - December 6, 2005