President Jonathan’s 2013 budget speech

President Goodluck Jonathan laying the budget before the National Assembly in 2012

President Goodluck Jonathan, Wednesday morning, presented the 2013 budget before the joint session of the Nigerian National Assembly.

 

Below is the full text of the President’s speech, as well as a video of the presentation
2013 Budget Speech“Fiscal Consolidation with Inclusive Growth”Delivered by:His Excellency
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR
President, Federal Republic of Nigeria

Before:

A Joint Session of the National Assembly, Abuja

Wednesday, 10th October 2012

PROTOCOL

1.      It is my pleasure and honour to present the 2013 Federal Budget
Proposal before this esteemed Joint Session of the National Assembly.
I am particularly delighted to present this Proposal to you earlier in
the year, and soon after the commemoration of our national
independence, to signal our commitment to evolving a new Nigeria. This
Proposal is the product of extensive consultations with key
stakeholders and would further translate the Government’s development
plans into concrete actions.

2.      When I presented the 2012 Budget, you will recall, I emphasized the
fact that it would be “a stepping-stone to the transformation of our
economy and country in our walk to economic freedom …”. I am glad to
report that we have made progress in this regard. Today, in the face
of critical resource constraints, the defining moment of our work is
in actualizing our promises to Nigerians. We need to create a
structured economy where everybody plays by the same rules, and
contributes their fair bit. That is the Nigeria our heroes past craved
for; that is the Nigeria we believe in; and that is the Nigeria we are
building together.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS
3.      As we build this nation and walk the path of development, we must
be mindful of the realities of our circumstances and those of the
changing global economy. This Budget Proposal was therefore designed
against the backdrop of global economic uncertainty. By the end of the
second quarter of this year, the global economy was recovering but at
a very slow pace. Growth in a number of major emerging market
economies, has been lower than forecast. Overall, global growth is
projected at 3.3% in 2012 and 3.6% in 2013.

4.      The uncertainty surrounding the global economy, which could have
adverse effects on commodity prices, highlights the downside risks for
our economy. The oil market is well known for its volatility. We
recall the 2008 experience at the height of the global economic
downturn when oil prices fell almost overnight from $147 per barrel to
$38 per barrel. This threat of oil price volatility remains constant
and underscores the need to rely on a robust and prudent methodology
to estimate the benchmark price.

5.      The global economic slowdown can also have far-reaching
implications for the demand for our export commodities, given that the
Euro zone and the USA account for over 50% of the nation’s crude oil
exports. These global developments are also being transmitted to our
economy through a dampening effect on foreign capital inflows and
remittances by Diaspora Nigerians. Fellow Nigerians, these are
uncertain times in the world economy, and my Administration is taking
necessary steps to mitigate possible adverse effects of the global
economic slowdown on Nigeria. I assure you that we are going to build
up the necessary savings to protect the economy against a possible
global recession or a slow recovery.

DEVELOPMENTS IN THE DOMESTIC ENVIRONMENT
6.      In spite of the foregoing, our economy has done relatively well.
Over the past nine months, through a number of initiatives, we have
created new jobs directly and supported many young entrepreneurs
running SMEs to create jobs. Nigeria is looking to become more
self-reliant again in food security, and we are increasing local
content in our manufacturing processes and the oil and gas sector.

7.      As at the end of the second quarter, the economy recorded an
impressive growth of 6.28% compared to 5.4% forecast for sub-Saharan
Africa. It is gratifying to note that the non-oil sector remains the
main driver of growth. There are also improvements in other
macroeconomic indicators. Inflation has dropped from 12.9% in June
2012 to 11.7% in August 2012, and our goal is to reduce it further.
Our foreign reserves now stand at US$41.6 billion – the highest it has
been in over 2 years. We intend to continue with our programme of
fiscal discipline and prudent monetary policy in order to continue to
improve our country’s macroeconomic environment.

8.      Furthermore, in addition to being upgraded last year by Fitch and
S&P rating agencies, Nigeria has now been included in the JP Morgan
Emerging Markets Bond Index, signifying increasing investor confidence
in our economy. In addition, the World Economic Forum has upgraded our
ranking from 127 to 115 in the global competitiveness index.

9.      Here in Nigeria, we do not join the debate on fiscal consolidation
versus growth because we believe in the need to do both; hence, we are
continuing our focus of fiscal consolidation with inclusive growth.
The fiscal consolidation policy has helped to strengthen our finances
with a programmed budget deficit of about 2.85% of GDP in 2012, now
projected to drop to 2.17% in 2013. Moreover, the share of capital
expenditure in the total budget is increasing as we gradually reduce
recurrent expenditures and also develop non-oil revenue sources.

REVIEW OF THE 2012 BUDGET IMPLEMENTATION
10.     Fellow Compatriots, the 2012 Budget was focused on achieving
Fiscal Consolidation with Inclusive Growth using the budget balance as
a fiscal anchor. In that respect, while investing in key priorities,
the budget also ensured that the deficit followed a downward trend
over the medium term. This is being done through a more aggressive
revenue collection drive and prudent management of available
resources.

11.     On the expenditure side, the implementation of the 2012 Budget is
on track, having commenced effectively in April when it became law. We
have so far released N711.6 billion to MDAs for the implementation of
their capital budgets while further releases are to follow shortly for
the fourth quarter. The continued implementation of the 2011 capital
budget in the first quarter of 2012, clearly affected the
implementation of the 2012 Budget.

12.     I have taken a personal interest in the budget implementation
since May by chairing weekly sessions with Ministers and Heads of
parastatals on their progress in this regard. We are determined to use
the instrument of the budget to improve the welfare of Nigerians. You
would recall my assurance to Nigerians that subsequent budgets will be
presented earlier to the National Assembly. It is in this spirit that
I lay this Proposal before this Assembly today, to give sufficient
time for deliberation on the Proposal and approval of the budget, and
to enable us commence implementation from January 1st 2013.

13.     Let me stress that Government remains focused on the tangible
outcomes from the implementation of the Appropriation Acts, not just
the amounts spent. In this respect, I have signed Performance
Agreement Contracts with my Ministers with a view to ensuring delivery
of projects and programmes in their respective budgets. The Ministers
in turn, are signing similar agreements with their Permanent
Secretaries, Heads of parastatals and Directors to cascade down the
need for responsibility and accountability. Key government officials
with responsibility for implementing different aspects of the budget
will be appraised based on these performance agreements. My goal is to
ensure optimal implementation of our annual budgets.

14.     Government is also determined to reduce the cost of governance. We
are reviewing the recommendations aimed at rationalizing Agencies of
the Federal Government with overlapping functions. This has been taken
into account in the preparation of the 2013 Budget, and we expect some
modest cost savings from this exercise in the course of the 2013
fiscal year. However, more significant progress will be made in 2014,
as we work with the Legislature to harmonise those Agencies that have
enabling laws, but which also have duplicative mandates.

Subsidy Reinvestments and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P)
15.     You will recall that we had assured Nigerians that the proceeds of
the partial withdrawal of petroleum subsidies will be applied to
implementing the Subsidy Reinvestment Programme (SURE-P). The
implementation of this programme is continuing over the medium-term.

16.     In the 2012 fiscal year, we had voted N180 billion for the
implementation of social safety net programmes, road and rail
infrastructure projects. So far, N36.5 billion of this amount has been
utilized to support maternal and child health programmes as well as
mass transit, roads and rail projects and job creation through the
Community Services and Public Works programme. The SURE-P Board under
the able chairmanship of Dr. Christopher Kolade is presently working
hard to ensure the successful oversight of the implementation of this
programme. We are grateful to them for their hard work and patriotism.

KEY ACHIEVEMENTS IN THE 2012 FISCAL YEAR
17.     In the 2012 Budget, Government outlined some projects and
programmes that were to be implemented in key sectors of the economy
in order to improve the livelihood of Nigerians. We have numerous
activities in various sectors such as: Power, Health, Agriculture,
Education, Housing, Transport, Aviation, etc. Let me highlight a few
of these sectors.

Power
18.     The Power Sector Reform is on course. Our efforts have begun to
pay off as we have improved power supply to various parts of the
country. Our gas-to-power and other initiatives are making this
possible, but I acknowledge the fact that we still have a long way to
go. As you may be aware, the ongoing privatisation of the generation
and distribution companies has reached an advanced stage. In some
cases, Preferred Bidders have already emerged.  When completed, the
programme will bring into the sector significant private investment,
along with the requisite power output.

19.     We have accomplished a number of goals in the Power sector reform
programme in line with the Roadmap, including:
a.      Completion of new units at our thermal power stations, to increase
generation;
b.      Rehabilitation of existing power infrastructure, which has yielded
up to 1,000 mega watts of additional electricity;
c.      Fast-Tracking 3 NIPP projects, which will bring an additional 1,055
mega watts by the end of the year; and
d.      Facilitating a power and gas financing package, which includes
Government Guarantees, proposed Infrastructure Bonds of about
$1billion, and $150 million of external funding from the African
Development Bank to support continued gas supply and the
liberalization of the power sector.

Agriculture
20.     My Administration has instituted key policy reforms to establish
staple crop processing zones aimed at attracting the private sector
into areas of high production, reducing post-harvest losses, and
adding value to locally produced commodities. So far we have succeeded
in attracting $7.8 billion investment commitments to the agricultural
sector.  These investments and the value chain approach being used to
transform the sector have the capacity to create 3.5 million
additional jobs in the medium term by 2015.

•       You will recall that Government provided incentives to support
cassava value chains, including zero duty on machinery and equipment
to process high quality cassava flour. Cassava bread is increasingly
commercially available with 20% cassava flour content. In addition, a
total of one million metric tonnes of dried cassava chips, are being
exported to China this year.

•       Achieving self-sufficiency in rice production in 2015 remains our
target. In response to our new fiscal measures, 13 new private sector
rice mills with a capacity of about 240,000 metric tonnes have been
established. These mills buy and process local paddy and create
employment for Nigerians.

Housing
21.     Fellow Nigerians, the provision of affordable housing is one of
the Administration’s strategic imperatives for guaranteeing our
citizens’ productivity and well-being. We are creating an enabling
environment for the private sector to produce much needed housing,
whilst creating jobs in the process. To facilitate this, I will be
holding a presidential retreat on Housing in early November, to
discuss policy and modalities for dealing with land titling issues,
developing an affordable mortgage finance system and reducing the high
cost of housing construction.

22.     In the meantime, under various social housing programmes, close to
2,000 housing units have been completed, while over 24,000 housing
units are at various stages of completion. This is outside housing
being constructed for the use of the Armed Forces and Paramilitary
services. The Federal Government has entered into Partnership
Agreements with several States for the provision of 6,000 housing
units. Another 600 housing units have already been completed under the
direct construction scheme of the Federal Housing Authority in these
States. Gradually, we are ensuring that more Nigerians enjoy the
benefits of having their own homes.

Transport
23.     You are already familiar with the improvement in the functioning
of our ports, the details of which I provided in my 52nd Independence
Anniversary Speech. With regard to Rail transport, in our continuing
effort to boost infrastructure development in the country, work is
ongoing to rehabilitate the rail system across the country.  These
include the Lagos-Kano line as well as the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri
line. Our people have started enjoying rail service again.

24.     Our railway modernisation programme is progressing with the
Abuja-Kaduna line now at 46% completion, while work on the
Lagos-Ibadan line is to commence soon. We also expect to complete the
Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri line in 2013. In the same vein, we are
fast-tracking the implementation of the mass transit Abuja Light Rail
system. When completed, it will improve transportation for all
residents in the FCT, especially workers living in the satellite
towns.

25.     Inland Waterways: Our inland waterways programme is on track to
boost commerce in the surrounding communities, and I had the pleasure
of commissioning the Onitsha Inland Port on 30th August 2012.

Aviation
26.     We are working hard to improve the regulatory regime and safety of
the Aviation sector and will continue to look for ways to support its
development. This Administration identifies this sector as a key part
of the Transformation Agenda. As such, we have embarked on a
comprehensive programme to transform our airports to world-class
standards and improve air travel safety standards across the country.
27.     For instance, the remodelling of airport terminals and the
upgrading of airport runways are presently at advanced stages of
implementation across virtually all our airports. In addition, we have
just concluded arrangements to commence the construction of five brand
new terminals in Kano, Port Harcourt, Lagos, Abuja and Enugu, and six
perishable cargo terminals, early next year. In line with
international best practice, these new terminals will be private
sector-managed.

28.     Roads: We know that Nigerians are disturbed about the state of our
major highways. We are addressing this issue frontally. With the rains
receding, the Ministry of Works will intensify the construction and
rehabilitation of major roads in the country, for example, the
dualization of the Abuja-Lokoja road, the Benin-Ore-Shagamu road, and
the Kano-Maiduguri road. Also, the Enugu-Port-Harcourt road
rehabilitation has been awarded to four contractors in order to
fast-track its completion. It is gratifying to note that resources
from the Petroleum Subsidy Reinvestment Programme are being used to
supplement the regular budget for these projects.

The Petroleum Sector
29.     The petroleum sector continues to play a crucial role in our
economy, even as we seek diversification. In this regard, we are
taking steps to modernise the sector. A robust Petroleum Industry Bill
(PIB) has been delivered as promised to the National Assembly for
consideration. When passed into law, the Bill will provide the new
legal framework that will govern Nigeria’s Oil and Gas industry.  This
Bill, which encompasses major reforms, will encourage additional
investments in the sector, create accountability and transparency, and
ensure that the management of our petroleum sector is commercially
driven.

30.     Our gas to power initiatives are moving firmly ahead, with the
12-month gas supply emergency plan already yielding more than the
targeted volumes of gas for power generation.

31.     With respect to the Petroleum Subsidy Programme, Government is
succeeding in substantially cleaning up the management of the
petroleum subsidy regime. We are tightening up the payment regime, to
weed out corruption while working hard to recover monies fraudulently
obtained from the subsidy regime. The EFCC is prosecuting those found
wanting and the efforts to crack down on corruption in this sector
will continue.

32.     On Frontier Exploration, the Government’s drive to build up the
nation’s oil reserves through exploration of new frontiers for oil and
gas production is beginning to yield results with news of the
discovery of crude oil in some inland sedimentary basins in the
country. These include the Chad Basin, Benue Trough, Yola Basin and
Anambra Basin amongst others. We are determined to further develop on
these findings and expand the scope of such explorations. To support
this, we have raised the provision for frontier exploration services
from N12 billion in 2012 to N16 billion in 2013.

Job Creation
33.     Fellow Compatriots, in spite of the economic growth noted earlier,
it is clear that as a nation, we still face economic disparities
across the country. This constitutes an obstacle to sustainable
development as it limits improvement in living standards, output and
social cohesion which are key factors for achieving inclusive growth.
Our challenge therefore, transcends how to achieve growth. Our
objective is to achieve inclusive growth by identifying and developing
job creation opportunities. We have mentioned the 3.5 million jobs we
aim to create in agriculture and more jobs in the housing and
construction sectors, solid minerals sector, aviation and the creative
industry.

34.     In my Independence Day Speech, I spoke of the 80,000-110,000 jobs
we are supporting young entrepreneurs to create through the YouWin
programme. We have received numerous testimonies from young men and
women who have been able to expand their businesses through the
programme. We have just launched a second round of the competition
targeting only women entrepreneurs. Across the country, our youth are
developing new ideas and enterprises, and we must support them.

35.     I launched the Community Service, Women and Youth Empowerment
Programme (CSWYEP) under the SURE-P in February 2012. This is now
working in pilot phase in 14 states, and to be replicated in other
states in 2 weeks. We also have the Graduate Internship Programme, in
which participating private companies provide one-year internships to
50,000 graduates, paid by the Federal Government. So far, 700 firms,
and 20,000 young graduates have applied to participate in this scheme.

36.     Fellow Nigerians, even as we review our achievements in 2012, we
are also conscious of the unprecedented floods, which have ravaged
many parts of our country, displacing tens of thousands of fellow
Nigerians, and causing massive destruction of property, farmlands, and
infrastructure across the country. My heartfelt sympathy goes to the
affected families and communities.

37.     Yesterday, I made a broadcast on the Federal Government’s actions
to deal with the situation. I authorized the disbursement of N17.6
billion to States and MDAs to help bring succour to our fellow
citizens affected by the floods. This will complement ongoing efforts
by Federal and State agencies, and private initiatives.

38.     A Presidential Technical Committee to properly assess the extent
of the impact, and propose a rehabilitation strategy, has submitted an
Interim Report and is continuing to visit all the affected
communities. I have also set up a National Committee on Flood Relief
and Rehabilitation to assist the Federal Government to raise funds to
mitigate the pains and ensure effective post-impact rehabilitation of
victims.

39.     I have also directed that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural
Development put in place a flood recovery food production plan. This
will include the provision of early maturing varieties of maize, which
mature in 60 days, to several flood affected areas.  In addition,
flood-tolerant rice varieties are being procured for flooded rice
growing areas. We will also accelerate dry season production of major
food crops.

Security
40.     Fellow Compatriots, we are conscious of the fact that without
security, no meaningful development can take place in our land; and
our collective efforts at building the nation would only amount to
little. This is why we channelled a great deal of resources to
security in the 2012 Budget. We remain conscious of the impact of
security challenges facing the country and are determined to bring the
situation under control.

41.     I commiserate with all our citizens who lost loved ones in the
recent Mubi killings and all the other acts of senseless destruction
of lives and properties in the country. We have already made arrests
in the Mubi case, and I want to assure Nigerians that all the culprits
will be made to face the full weight of the law. I want to thank our
brave men and women of the security services for their commitment. I
also want to acknowledge and thank the various state Governors for
their cooperation and untiring effort to ensure peace in their
domains. The unity of Nigeria is not negotiable

THEME OF THE 2013 BUDGET
Theme
42.     Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, you will recall that in
furtherance of my Administration’s efforts to transform our economy,
the 2012 Budget was established on four main pillars – Macroeconomic
stability; Structural reforms; Governance & institutions; and
Investing in priority sectors. The 2013 Budget promotes continuity of
these pillars and is designed with the theme: fiscal consolidation
with inclusive growth. We will remain prudent with our fiscal
resources but also ensure that the Nigerian economy keeps growing and
creating jobs. To this end, the government will continue with the
medium-term theme and interventions that are consistent with the
objectives of the Transformation Agenda.

Macroeconomic Stability
43.     One key plank upon which our economic transformation is based is
the achievement of macroeconomic stability. My Administration has made
significant progress in putting the finances of the nation on a sound
footing and laying the foundation for rapid and sustainable growth. We
will stay focused on maintaining macroeconomic stability in Nigeria.

Budget Structure
44.     Now let me turn to the structure of the 2013 Budget. In recent
years, recurrent expenditure has tended to crowd out capital
expenditure in the national budget. Over the 2013-2015 medium-term, my
Administration will continue to implement measures aimed at correcting
this imbalance in the budget structure in a viable and sustainable
manner.

45.     In the 2012 Budget speech, I noted that Government was going to
focus on cutting recurrent expenditure to sustainable levels through
reduction of waste, corruption and duplication in the functions of
government agencies. In this respect, the biometric verification of
employees is being extended to all agencies of Government, while the
process for rationalizing public agencies and reducing duplication of
mandates among different government agencies has begun, following the
Report of the Oronsaye Committee.

46.     I am therefore pleased to announce that the share of recurrent
spending in aggregate expenditure is set to further reduce from 71.47%
in 2012 to 68.7% in the 2013 Budget, while capital expenditure as a
share of aggregate spending is set to increase from 28.53% in 2012 to
31.3% in 2013.

Public Debt Management

47.     Government will continue to exercise fiscal prudence and limit its
borrowing requirements in compliance with the Fiscal Responsibility
Act, 2007. Consequently, we have developed a responsible domestic debt
management strategy that, for the first time, seeks to start paying
off our domestic debt rather than rolling it over. In this respect, a
sinking fund of N100 billion is being established in the 2013 fiscal
year to be used for repaying Government’s maturing debt obligations
and to curb the rising domestic debt profile. We have further reduced
our annual domestic borrowing from N852 billion in 2011, N744 billion
in 2012, and to N727 billion in 2013.

THE 2013 BUDGET
48.     The 2013 Budget is underpinned by the following parameters which
reflect Government’s prudent economic policies in an uncertain global
economic environment:

•       Oil production of 2.53 million barrels per day, up from 2.48 million
barrels per day for 2012.
•       Benchmark oil price of US$75/barrel, a modest increase from the
US$72/barrel approved in the 2012 Budget. This benchmark price is
based on a well established econometric methodology of estimating oil
price moving averages.
•       Projected GDP growth rate which is now estimated at 6.5% compared to
6.85% in the Fiscal Strategy Paper. The revision is underpinned by the
fact that the severe floods experienced over large parts of the
country are expected to impact on economic activity in 2013,
especially agriculture. However, the growth prospects may improve with
the plan to boost dry season farming.

Revenue

49.     Based on these assumptions, the gross federally collectible
revenue is projected at N10.84 trillion, of which the total revenue
available for the Federal Government’s Budget is forecast at N3.89
trillion, representing an increase of about 9% over the estimate for
2012. Non-oil revenue is projected to continue to grow in 2013 as the
ongoing reforms in our revenue collecting agencies, and the
implementation of initiatives to further develop the non-oil sector
continue to yield results.

Expenditure Proposals
50.     An aggregate expenditure of N4.92 trillion is proposed for the
main budget of the 2013 fiscal year, representing a modest increase of
about 5% over the N4.7 trillion appropriated for 2012. This is made up
of N380.02 billion for Statutory Transfers, N591.76 billion for Debt
Service, N2.41 trillion for Recurrent (Non-Debt) Expenditure and N1.54
trillion for Capital Expenditure.

51.     Based on the above, the fiscal deficit is projected to improve to
about 2.17% of GDP in the 2013 Budget compared to 2.85% in 2012. This
is well within the threshold stipulated in the Fiscal Responsibility
Act, 2007 and clearly highlights our commitment to fiscal prudence. We
are determined to further rein in domestic borrowing, and this way,
ensure that our debt stock remains at a sustainable level.

52.     Our focus on critical economic and social sectors continues. Some
of these sectors are largely driven by private sector activity, while
others require a great deal of public sector support. Some key
allocations are as follows: Works – N183.5 billion; Power – N74.26
billion; Education – N426.53 billion; Health – N279.23 billion;
Defence – N348.91 billion; Police – N319.65 billion; and Agriculture &
Rural Development – N81.41 billion.

53.     The power and gas sectors require a lot of investments to sustain
our supply improvements. We shall therefore complement available
resources with a proposed Infrastructure Euro Bond of about $1 billion
in order to complete gas pipelines and other infrastructure
investments.  We have also programmed other grants and soft credits
critical to infrastructure and other sectors in our medium term
external borrowing plan.

54.     The SURE-P will continue with the expected resources of N180
billion in 2013 augmented by the projected 2012 unspent balances
bringing the total to about N273.5 billion. We hope to make further
progress in the programme, providing additional infrastructure
investments and social safety net schemes for Nigerians. I am pleased
to also lay before this esteemed Assembly, the 2013 Budget for the
SURE-P.

Fiscal Policy
55.     To promote Nigerian agriculture and industry, we will continue to
implement supportive fiscal measures for some priority areas. You will
recall that in my 2012 Budget speech, I announced fiscal measures on
rice, cassava, wheat, and machinery for the agriculture and power
sectors. In this regard, I am pleased to announce the following
additional measures which will be effective from 1st January 2013:

a.      Sugar: Machinery and spare parts imported for local sugar
manufacturing industries will now attract 0% duty; there will also be
a 5-year tax holiday for “sugarcane to sugar” value chain investors.
Furthermore, import duty and levy on raw sugar will be 10% and 50%
respectively, while refined sugar will attract 20% duty and 60% levy;

b.      Rice: A 10% import duty and 100% levy will be applied to both brown
and polished rice;

c.      Aircraft: All commercial aircraft and aircraft spare parts imported
for use in Nigeria will now attract 0% duty and 0% VAT. This will
appreciably improve safety in our skies as newer fleet and less
onerous maintenance will prevail;

d.      Solid Minerals: Machinery and equipment imported for use in the
solid minerals sector will now attract 0% import duty and 0% VAT; and

e.      Public Mass Transit: In order to encourage the production of mass
transit vehicles in Nigeria, duty on Completely Knocked Down
components (CKD) for mass transit buses of at least 40-seater
capacity, will now be 0%, down from 5%. Government is desirous of
supporting green growth and, in this regard, will explore options for
providing incentives for energy efficient vehicles from the 2014
fiscal year.

Gender Empowerment
56.     This administration is gender friendly and has worked to improve
the position of women in society and empower them economically.
Nevertheless, to further integrate women in the various sectors, we
have developed an innovative approach to mainstreaming gender issues
starting with 5 pilot ministries – Agriculture, Health, Communication
Technology, Water Resources and Works. These ministries are signing
MOUs with the Ministry of Women Affairs to deliver on specific
services for women.

a.      The Ministry of Agriculture, for example, will work with the
Ministry of Communication Technology to ensure that 5 million women
farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs receive mobile phones to be
able to access information on agro-inputs through an e-wallet scheme.

b.      The Ministry of Health, in addition to scaling up its ongoing “Save
a Million Lives” initiative, plans to give back health and hope to
one-third of the pool of young girls and women who have been waiting a
long time for V.V.F repairs through surgery and economic
rehabilitation. In addition, we are up-scaling routine immunization.

c.      For 2013, the Ministry of Works plans to increase the number of
women that are employed in public works programmes as contractors,
workers and project evaluators, setting itself a target of 35% for
women in FERMA rehabilitation work. In every geopolitical zone, at
least 3 roads leading to areas where women’s socio-economic activities
are concentrated, will be prioritised and completed.

57.     To support these activities, we have set aside the sum of N3
billion to be disbursed to participating MDAs as incentives for them
to deliver on these targets. Our focus on empowering women is part of
our agenda for improving the country’s human development indicators.
In this regard, we shall not relent in our efforts to improve access
and quality in our health and education sectors.

Sports
58.     The performance of our sportsmen and women continues to strike an
important chord for all Nigerians across the country. We want to take
our sports to great heights again. We all recall our disappointment
with our performance in the recent Summer Olympics games in London. At
the same time, we were very delighted with the success of our
Paralympics athletes.

59.     My Administration is committed to addressing the challenges faced
by our sports men and women. Later this month, I will be hosting a
Presidential retreat on sports in order to strategise on ways to
support our sports sector to achieve greater heights.

CONCLUSION
60.     Mr. Senate President, Mr. Speaker, Distinguished and Honourable
Members of this esteemed Assembly, Fellow Nigerians, the Budget
Proposal I lay before you today represents our continued drive for
real and sustainable growth for the wellbeing of Nigerians.

61.      It is a budget that gives priority to our concerns for security,
infrastructure, food security and human development sectors. It is a
Budget that introduces a series of innovative features. This Budget is
a push in the right direction borne out of our well thought-out and
articulated developmental policies.

62.     This is a budget for every Nigerian. It belongs to the farmer, the
investor, the entrepreneur, the youth and the elderly. Yes, we have
challenges, but also incredible opportunities. Ours is the task of
transforming these opportunities into real, tangible outcomes which
all our people can experience and call their own. We need the
cooperation of everyone to make it work, to grow the economy, and to
create jobs for our people. I continue to call on all Nigerians to
act. Making Nigeria work begins with you and me.

63.     Finally, I must restate my appreciation of the contributions and
cooperation of the Legislature in discharging our collective
responsibility to build the nation of our dreams.

64.     I look forward to an expeditious consideration and passage of this
Proposal, as we strive to guarantee positive socio-economic
transformation for the benefit of our people.

65.     May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

66.     I thank you.


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