The president gave the order yesterday when he received operational briefing from Executive Secretary of the Commission, Dr. Bassey Akpanyung, at the Presidential Villa.
Senior Special Assistant to the president on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, who was part of the meeting, said the president told Akpanyung and directors in NPC that capital projects must now 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 to realign the budget so that capital projects can be prioritised,” Buhari directed. Executive Secretary of NPC had informed the President that Nigeria’s planning system was beset with many challenges.
The challenges, he said, included 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. He said his visit to the president was to brief him on activities of the NPC, which covers mainly preparation of long term and medium term plans for the economy.
“We used the opportunity to inform him that we already have on ground a prospective plan, that is, national Vision 20:20:20, and we are in the process of developing a medium term plan to cover Vision 2016 to 2019, which will address the core elements of this present administration’s priorities.
“Of course, we sought his support for articulation and finalising of that document because his pronouncement on it will assist us rapidly to do so. Planning, like I said, will make it effective from 2016 to 2019. So, we should already be working very seriously to pick out elements that would form the document.
“The president’s response was positive and he has specifically directed that we take a second look at the capital projects and their funding, rather than spread widely capital funding that will not impact on anything. We should look at the core priority areas, select those and fund effectively to the end and take on the second priority areas and do likewise,” he said