Prince Agba gave the advice when some students of Whitesands School, Lekki, Lagos,led by two teachers, Messrs Matthew Omotosho and Kinsley David Adaigbe, visited him in Abuja on Wednesday (February 5, 2020).
Responding to one in the series of questions asked by the students, Agba said planning remained a critical factor in the implementation of projects and budgets.
He said, after the students had responded differently to his question as to which, between planning and budget should come first, that “budget flows from planning.”
He explained “that while Nigeria’s national plan could be for a minimum of five years, budget is an annual document in which funds are allocated to the various projects that have been planned and captured for execution.”
According to him, “in your planning, you ask yourself: where do I want to be in the next three to five years or five to ten years? You project on the revenues you are going to get. And, remember that a budget has two sides- income and expenditure.”
The minister’s take-home message to the students as well as Nigerian youths was to dream big and aspire to fulfill their dreams by burning the candle, if possible, at both ends.
“If your dream is to be a president, you have to prepare yourself. You have to develop your character. It is for this reason that for you to be awarded a university degree, you would have been found worthy in character and in learning. Without character, you cannot have integrity,” the minister further stated.
After a question-and-answer session, during which the minister explained the budget process and other issues of concern raised by the students, the minister, in simulation of role reversal, allowed the students to individually sit on his chair while he sat in the visitor’s seat facing the acting “ministers”. The simulation was pictorially recorded.
The students, thereafter, showed the minister a ball-kicking robot they built, which would be deployed in a science and technology competition in Abuja.