Nigerian govt approves 2019 budget estimates

Nigerian govt approves 2019 budget estimates
December 07 16:04 2018

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By Nasir Kura

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the 2019 budget estimates at a special session on Friday.

The meeting was chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Briefing State House correspondents after the meeting, Minister of Budget and Planning, Mr. Udoma Udo Udoma, said the council would liaise with the National Assembly to determine when the President would submit the draft estimates.

The minister declined to give details of the budget, saying the constitution allows only the President to do that during presentation to the lawmakers.

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

The council approved N8.73 trillion for the 2019 budget, N400bn lower than the 2018 budget.

Also, the Minister of Budget and Planning, Mr. Udoma Udo 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 2018 budget.

He said 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.

He said government plans 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 2019.

The minister said in spite of the recent drop in oil output to about 1.9 million barrels a day, 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.