Buhari Urges NASS to Approve 2019-2021 MTEF
President Muhammadu Buhari has forwarded the 2019 to 2021 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) to the National Assembly for approval.The President of the Senate, Dr, Bukola Saraki, read the letter at plenary on Tuesday in Abuja. In a letter addressed to the President of the Senate, President Buhari, urged the lawmakers to expeditiously consider and approve the document.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) had on Oct. 24, 2018, approved the 2019 to 2021 MTEF, which consists of N8.7 trillion Budget proposal for the 2019 fiscal year. The MTEF and FSP provide the framework for the budget and lawmakers are expected to debate and approve it before presentation of the 2019 budget to the joint session of the national assembly.
Following the meeting, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma and the Director-General of the Budget Office, Ben Akabueze unveiled a draft of the document. They explained that the Federal Government would reduce the 2019 budget from N9.1 trillion to N8.7 trillion in 2019.
The 2019 budget as contained in the MTEF and FSP is premised on an oil production volume of 2.3 million barrels per day at $60 per barrel, exchange rate of N305 per dollar, inflation rate of 9.98% and a nominal GDP rate of 3.0%. Meanwhile, N6.9 trillion is projected to fund the budget, debt service for the same fiscal year was estimated at N2.1 trillion.
Other key highlights for the 2019 budget include Share of Oil Revenue -N3.6 trillion, Independent Revenue-N624 billion, Statutory Transfer N506 billion, Sinking Fund N220 billion, Recurrent (non-debt) N4.7 trillion, aggregate capital expenditure N2.7 trillion among others. The 2017 to 2019 MTEF/FSP, submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari in readiness for the consideration of the 2017 budget, the Senate adopted almost all the proposals sent by the president, contradicting its earlier ruling when it dismissed the documents as empty. Its decision followed the recommendations of its committees on Appropriations, Finance and National Planning,
It adopted the oil production projection of 2.2 mbpd for the 2017 Budget, which it said is achievable, “though dependent on the ability of the Federal Government to curtail the Niger-Delta militant activities in order to halt the drop in crude oil production”.
Following attacks of oil and gas installations, the Senate observed that oil production “declined from 1,912mbpd in January 2016 to 1,818mbpd in June 2016 and thereafter to 1,721mbpd in October 2016.” It also adopted the exchange rate of N305/one dollar as proposed by the executive.
The Senate however warned that the Central Bank of Nigeria should initiate measures that would close the gap between the parallel market and the official exchange rate to prevent corruption. For non-oil revenue, the Senate also adopted the projected N5.122 trillion in 2017, lower than N5.749 trillion approved in 2016 on account of lower Corporate Tax, VAT and Customs revenue collection in 2016. Similarly, in the 2017 to 2019 MTEF/FSP, Senate approved the N807.57 trillion projected as independent revenue for 2017, significantly lower than the highly optimistic N1.505 approved for 2016.
The reduction, the Senate said, reflected the poor level of collection and remittance or inefficiency in the collection and management of independent revenue by MDAs and state-owned enterprises. TBI