The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, has disclosed plans by the federal government to spend N100 billion to provide inexpensive houses for Nigerians this year through the Social Housing Fund (SHF).
He made this known on Thursday during a chat with the media in Abuja.
According to the Minister, the houses would be a product of President Muhammadu Buhari’s idea of marrying the annual budgets with national planning through special intervention funds.
Udoma also said the federal government believes in long term planning which is why “we have come out with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) which is planning even beyond the life of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
“We are talking about 2020.
“So, it is that ERGP that is going to feed into every budget. So every budget will have to be in accordance with the plan. So, we believe in it.
“The reason Mr. President merged Planning with Budget was that he wants the two to be talking to each other. He wants the budget to be based on the plan.
”That was why the Budget was taken out of Finance and put with Planning. And that is why you are seeing even in the 2017 budget many of the initiatives in the ERGP are reflected there.
“For instance, having special economic zones is reflected there as well as the special housing fund of which the federal government is going to put in N100 billion to Social Housing Fund (SHF). The idea is to make the houses as inexpensive as possible for Nigerians as a whole.”
On the timing of the budget, the Minister said: “We intend, in this administration, to make a difference. We are working hard right now. Even as we have just finished the 2017 budget, we have started working on the 2018 budget.
“Our aim is working closely with the National Assembly to see whether we can get it back to the January to December fiscal year.”