-Orders Reduction In 2016 Recurrent Expenditure
President Muhammadu Buhari Says Efforts To Trace Alleged Stolen Funds Are Paying Off As Proceeds From Stolen Crude Have Been Traced To Banks, Countries
President Muhammadu Buhari disclosed yesterday in Abuja that his administration had taken efforts to recover looted Nigerian funds a step further by identifying banks, financial institutions and countries in which payments for stolen Nigerian crude oil had been deposited.
Speaking at an audience with visiting United States Congressmen, President Buhari acknowledged support and cooperation his administration was getting from the international community in gathering required intelligence for tracing and recovering stolen national resources.
“We are getting cooperation from the international community, including information on ships that take crude oil from Nigeria and change direction, or pour their contents into other ships mid-stream.
“Some monies were paid to individual accounts. We are identifying the financial institutions and countries that are involved. “I have been assured that when we get all our documents together, the United States and other countries will treat our case with sympathy”, the President told the Congressmen led by Rep. Darrel Issa. President Buhari also told the Congressmen that his Administration would welcome more regular meetings of the Nigeria-United States Bi- National Commission.
He noted that the Commission could serve as a more useful platform for the promotion of bilateral trade and economic relations as well as joint cooperation in the war against terrorism. Rep. Darrel assured President Buhari that the United States would support Nigeria against Boko Haram by providing training, intelligence and military platforms. “We look forward to helping you in many ways to end the Boko Haram insurgency and the theft of crude oil in the Gulf of Guinea”, he said.
Meanwhile, in another statement signed by Garba Shehu, a Senior Special Assistant to the President, it said President Buhari had ordered the National Planning Commission (NPC) to re-work and produce a framework for the 2016 national budget with reduced recurrent expenditure profile. According to Shehu, the new framework would also prioritize developmental projects.
President Buhari gave the order after receiving a briefing from the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Dr. Bassey Akpanyung, at the Presidential Villa. He quoted the President as telling Dr. Akpanyung and Directors of the NPC that capital projects must be given the fullest possible priority because “Nigeria cannot achieve real development without adequate investment in capital and infrastructural projects.
“In carrying out its role in surveillance of the economy, review and appraisal of policies, the Commission should devise a plan for a realignment of the budget so that capital projects can be really prioritized,” the President directed. The Executive Secretary of the NPC had informed the President that Nigeria’s planning system was beset by many challenges. These challenges, he said, included the non-alignment of national plans with the annual budget and inadequate capacity in the departments of Planning, Research and Statistics in the various government ministries.
The President has also approved the appointment of Professor Kamoru Olayiwola Usman as Provost of the Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo. A statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Femi Adesina, said the appointment of the Oyo state-born academic is for an initial term of four years.
Professor Usman holds a Bachelors Degree in Science Education, a Masters Degree in Education (Mathematics) and a Doctorate Degree in Education (Mathematics). Until his new appointment, Professor Usman was Associate Dean of the Faculty of Education, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN).
-Anthony Ailemen, Abuja