Nigeria’s budget and fiscal management for 2015 promises to be uniquely challenging for the country because of the consistent fall in the international price of the country’s major source of revenue (oil). In addition to that particular challenge, 2015 happens to be Nigeria’s general election year and if as usual history is not misleading, politicians are likely to deploy public resources to their political and electioneering campaigns over and above the normal budget priorities.
While these are happening, the Transformation Agenda (TA) 2011-2015 of the federal government which places agricultural development at the driving seat of the economy is still on course and as such the sector is still priority for government. In fact, 2015 should be a year of consolidating and evaluating the outcomes of the TA since this is the end year of the present phase. So, budgetary resources may be required to implement activities towards closing any gaps and the extent to which that is reflected in the 2015 proposal is to be seen.
In this special edition of the NANTS budget advocacy series, we have reviewed the highlights of the 2015 budget proposed by the Executive and the place that Agriculture occupies and moved ahead to evaluate how responsive it is to the challenge of dwindling revenue and need to prioritise agricultural development as a natural alternative to the fast failing oil sector.
In previous editions, NANTS made recommendation which if substantially adhered to could help the country towards management of its resources especially at this precarious time of dwindling revenue generation. There may be no better time than now to re-emphasize those recommendations for more efficient budgeting and budget management practice in the country. That is what this piece aims to advocate.