FG Targets Unemployment with Massive Public Works

Date: 16-12-2010 10:42 am (13 years ago) | Author: Daniel Bosai
- at 16-12-2010 10:42 AM (13 years ago)
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday presented his first budget to a joint session of the National Assembly with the stated objective of massive job creation to be kick-started with seed funding of N50 billion.
According to the president, the administration would initiate a new National Job Creation Scheme with multifaceted interventions, “adopting short and medium-term strategies to create thousands of new jobs in our urban and rural communities”.
He said to immediately impact unemployment, a Public Works Programme would commence across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

“This programme will involve the engagement of private sector contractors to implement simple, labour-intensive public works in areas such as the renovation and maintenance of buildings such as schools, hospitals and primary healthcare centres; roads rehabilitation and maintenance works; urban sanitation and solid waste disposal; erosion control; and community works projects,” he told the federal lawmakers.

He announced that some of these public works would be funded by conditional grants and targeted at sectors critical to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
He said: “All memoranda submitted to the Federal Executive Council regarding procurement contracts from the MDAs are now required to indicate the local employment content implication of the project concerned. I have also directed that the private sector be incentivised to train and employ new graduates.

“While it remains true that the Government, on its own, cannot create every single employment opportunity and while it is the private sector, with its energy and initiative that we depend on to play a major role, this administration continues to be conscious of the importance of addressing the issue of unemployment holistically. It is the government that must lead the way in providing the short to medium term measures that will lay the foundation for building an inclusive society and ensuring our future prosperity. Already, the Federal Ministry of Education is taking steps to improve the quality of education to produce graduates that have skills which allow them to start businesses and become employers of labour.”

The 2011 budget, he said, marked the commencement of the implementation of the First National Implementation Plan (NIP) under the Vision 20:2020 economic transformation blueprint.
“The First NIP focuses on laying the foundation for achieving the Vision and contains: medium-term strategic policy directions and development priorities; implementation strategies and expected deliverables; and detailed strategies for the Federal, State and Local Governments, as well as the private sector,” he added.

He also said government was accelerating real sector reforms targeted at enhancing economic growth and addressing the infrastructural and institutional impediments to a more competitive and business-friendly investment environment.
The president said in addition to stimulus packages for power, aviation and manufacturing sectors, “a US$500 million facility will be available to support small and growing businesses. The rationale for these interventions has been the difficulty that the financial sector has had in lending to the real economy in the wake of the crisis in the financial system. Companies feel that they are being unfairly denied the credit they require to grow and that they are powerless to challenge this”.

Aggregate expenditure for 2011 is projected at N4.226 trillion, comprising N196.12 billion for statutory transfers, N542.38 billion for debt service, N2,481.71 billion for recurrent (Non-Debt) expenditure and N1,005.99 billion for capital expenditure.
This represents, Jonathan said, an 18.1 per cent contraction from the N5.159 trillion appropriated by the 2010 Amendment and Supplementary Budgets.

He said: “However, the N1 trillion voted for capital expenditure compares favourably with the N919.5 billion actually utilised in the extended 15 months of the 2009 fiscal year, which is the largest amount of capital resources utilised by our MDAs in any fiscal year to date.

“Our expenditure plans indicate that the 2011 fiscal balance will be a projected deficit of 3.62 per cent of GDP. New spending obligations such as the recent public service wage increases have contributed to the size of the deficit.”
The president also said on the revenue side, the government was accelerating the identification and resolution of revenue leakages through various interventions including: the strengthening of pre-shipment inspection for crude oil and gas; conducting audits of all revenue generating agencies including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and agencies required to remit Internally Generated Revenue to the Treasury; and fast-tracking the implementation of key reforms by the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Nigerian Customs Service.

On expenditure, he said recurrent releases were on track for personnel costs, overheads, statutory transfers and debt service charges.
“A total of N749.75 billion had been cash-backed for capital expenditure as at the end of October through the first, second and third quarter capital releases. With the fourth quarter releases shortly to be implemented, a total of N900 billion will have been released. This would compare favourably with any level of capital implementation ever achieved in a 12-month fiscal year. While capital performance varies across the MDAs, the average capital utilisation is just under 50 per cent as at the end of October,” he said.

Posted: at 16-12-2010 10:42 AM (13 years ago) | Addicted Hero