President Goodluck Jonathan has described the 2012 budget as a stepping-stone to the transformation of the Nigerian economy and “our walk to economic freedom”. Presenting it before the National Assembly Tuesday, he said the journey ahead would neither be easy nor “uncontested”, adding that with a sharp focus, hard work, determination and making careful choices Nigeria would overcome her current economic challenges.
The budget, he said, was not an end in itself but rather, an instrument for the promotion of economic growth, wealth creation, poverty reduction and service delivery to the citizenry.
“Government desires that we should begin to experience a commensurate increase in gainful employment and social well-being of Nigerians with the rate of economic growth. This budget seeks to act, not only to create jobs, but to also lay a solid foundation for sustainable economic growth which would deliver the dividends of democracy to our people. In this respect as you may recall, I hosted a retreat in October this year with the Organised Private Sector (OPS) at which a number of issues including fiscal policy were extensively discussed.
“I wish to reiterate here that the principal objective of my Administration’s fiscal policy in the area of tariffs and trade is to promote industrialisation and the growth of the manufacturing and agricultural sectors of the economy and above all to generate employment for Nigerians…’