‘Our policy will benefit the poor’
The Federal Government on Monday said it would change its fiscal policy and ensure its expenditure benefit the poor.
It said the current economic challenges facing the country had made it imperative for agencies of the government to prepare their Medium Term Sector Strategy to guide the allocation of scarce resources available for the execution of capital projects.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Fatima Mede, disclosed this in Abuja while speaking at a sensitisation workshop on the MTSS for Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
The event, which marked the commencement of the 2016-2017 MTSS and the 2017 budget preparation process, was attended by permanent secretaries, heads of department and agencies as well as other key technical experts responsible or the preparation of the budget in the MDAs.
Mede said the need to deepen the planning process in the country as well as ensure that plans were aligned to government spending necessitated the workshop.
She said while resources to implement the budget remained scarce owing to revenue shortfall, the MTSS would enable the government to set the fundamental parameters for effective monitoring and evaluation of projects.
She said, “We are facing challenging economic times as commodity prices, especially oil prices, are declining with negative consequences on revenue.
“Our fiscal policy must therefore change to ensure that expenditure is linked to sound strategy for maximum impact on the common man on the street.
“This has necessitated the urgent need for MDAs to prepare their MTSS document to guide the allocation of the scarce resources available for implementation of capital projects to ensure value for money.”
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udo Udoma, while speaking at the workshop, said the event would enable government to capture new initiatives that would help in achieving its developmental objectives.
In a bid to ensure more efficient and effective investment of resources in critical sectors of the economy, he said the focus would now be on 14 ministries that had large capital spendings.