2019 Budget Proposal  Approved by Special FEC

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From left: Headof Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita; Chief of Staff, Alhaji Abba Kyari; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo during the Federal Executive Council Meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Wednesday (5/12/18). NAN
By Chibuike Nwabuko

Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The 2019 budget proposal was on Friday approved by the Special Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.

The special session presided over by  President Muhammadu Buhari, started by 10:30am and lasted  till around 1:00pm at the Presidential Villa.

Recall that the federal executive council meeting holds every Wednesday, however Sundiata Post gathered that this special FEC was called to approve the 2019 budget proposal ahead of its Presentation by president Buhari to the National Assembly next week.

Briefing State House Correspondents at the end of FEC meeting at the presidential villa, Abuja, the Minister of Budget and Planning, Udoma Udoma said the Council will liaise with the National Assembly to determine when the president will submit the draft estimates for the consideration of the two chambers.

He however did not give details of the proposal when asked by newsmen, noting that  the Nigerian constitution only allows the president to give out the details and he will do so when the National Assembly is ready to receive the draft.

The FEC had on 24th October approved the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) for the 2019 -2021 to provide template for the 2019 budget.

The session which was presided over by President Buhari approved a budget estimate of N8.73trillion for the 2019 budget, N400billion lower than that of this year.

It will be recalled that, Udoma, had last month announced that the Federal Government was considering a leaner 2019 budget of N8.6 trillion, which is leaner than the N9.1 trillion approved by lawmakers for 2018.

He had explained at a consultative forum on the medium term expenditure framework (MTEF) and fiscal strategy paper (FSP) 2019-2021, that the decision was due to reduced government revenue projection for the year.

Udoma also said government planned to cut down the level of borrowing from N1.6 trillion in 2018 to N1.5 trillion in 2019, while the deficit component would be reduced from N1.9 trillion in 2018 to N1.6 trillion.

In spite of  the recent oil output drop to about 1.9 million barrels a day, Udoma said government was optimistic the 2.3 million barrels a day target was achievable with production now rising to about 2.15 million barrels a day and new oil productions being put into play.

Although a $50 per barrel oil price benchmark was proposed in the ERGP, the minister had expressed confidence that with a significant rise in the price above $80 per barrel currently, government has proposed a $60 per barrel oil price for the budget.

Udoma had added that N305 was proposed as exchange rate to the dollar, with government working to keep inflation down after slight increases in the last two months on the heels of 18 months consecutive decline.

The projected target gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate for the budget was put at 3.01 per cent, reduced from 4.5 per cent in the ERGP; 3.6 per cent in 2020 and 3.9 per cent in 2021.

“Growth is expected to increase from 0.8 per cent in 2017 to 2.1 per cent this year and 3.01 per cent in 2019 with the continued implementation of the ERGP in 2019 and improved outlook for oil prices,” he said.

On revenue, Udoma had said based on the oil price and oil production assumptions, government expected to generate about N3.6 trillion from oil, up by about N500 billion from last year’s figure.

About N6.9 trillion revenue is projected to be available to the budget in 2019.

With other projections showing government expects to collect less revenue from some independent sources, he said only about N624 billion is expected to be realised, against about N847 billion in the 2018 budget, among others.

 




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