The federal government has disclosed that the 2020 budget will be submitted to the National Assembly by the end of September.
A statement from the Finance Ministry signed by Special Adviser Media and Communication to the Minister, Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi, said the Finance Minister, Hajia Zainab Ahmed made this disclosure in her opening remarks at a high-level roundtable on National Donor Coordination in Abuja on Wednesday.
It said the roundtable resulted in the decision to create a Donor Coordinating Unit.
According to Ahmed: “The 2020 Budget preparation process is well underway and we intend to finalise and submit the 2020 appropriation bill to the National Assembly by the end of this month.”
The Minister noted that it has become important to capture the planned and ongoing programmes of donor agencies in the country.
Ahmed said the “first step towards ensuring that your donor programmes are aligned with our strategic priorities and are in turn reflected in our upcoming national budget, we will hold meetings in the next few days to better understand your ongoing and planned programmes.”
She added that at “this consultative meeting, a set of guidelines will be provided to support submission of your cost short to medium term plans, broken down annually.
“This process will ensure that we consider on-going and planned aid interventions when making our 2020 budgetary allocations, and that said interventions are reflected in the Appropriation Bill.”
The Minister also revealed that the present administration has designed 11 Economic Priority Areas.
In the area of economic and governance reforms, Ahmed said the government will focus on macroeconomic stability through coordinated economic, monetary, fiscal and trade policies; fight corruption and improve governance.
With regards to enhanced investments in physical infrastructure, human capital development to spur job creation and economic growth, Ahmed said government will target improved health, “education and productivity of Nigerians; ensure energy sufficiency with power; ensure energy sufficiency with petroleum products; improve transportation and other infrastructure; and drive industrialisation, focusing on macro, small and medium-sized enterprises.”
To optimise investments in physical security and food security to drive inclusive socio-economic development, Ahmed outlined the following economic agenda the government will pursue: Improved security for all citizens; enhance agriculture self-sufficiency to achieve food security; enhance social inclusion by scaling-up social investments; and improve access to mass housing & consumer credit to enhance financial inclusion.
Speaking on the activities of donor agencies in Nigeria and the creation of a coordinating unit on donor programmes Zainab Ahmed said: “the need for a government-driven national donor coordination mechanism cannot be overemphasized in that a well-structured approach is a key to ensuring that external financing is maximised and of benefit to Nigerians.”
She then said there was a need to “work together to put in place a National Donor Coordination Mechanism that is aligned to government’s key strategic priority areas as set out in our national plans, policies and annual budgets. While government-led, this process must be collaborative in order to succeed.”