Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, yesterday, told the Senate Committee on Finance that some slight adjustments had been effected on the 2019 Medium Term Fiscal Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) between when it was approved by the Federal Executive Council and the finalisation of the 2019 budget proposals.
The minister disclosed this when he briefed the committee on this year’s Revenue and Expenditure Projections.
In a statement by his Special Adviser (Media and Communication), Akpandem James, the minister said the adjustment only affected the expenditure levels as it was done to reflect some unanticipated expenditure items and the consequences of those adjustments.
The key assumptions and macro-framework of the 2019 Budget targets 2.3mbpd of oil production at an oil benchmark price of $60 per barrel; exchange rate of N305 per Dollar, Inflation rate at 9.98%, Nominal consumption of N119.28 trillion, Nominal GDP at N139.65 trillion and GDP growth rate of 3.01%
Before giving an overview of the 2019 Expenditure Framework, the minister briefed the committee on the 2018 expenditure out-turns. He stated that of the total appropriation of N9.12 trillion, N7.24 trillion had been spent, as at December 31, 2018; representing 79 percent performance. He indicated that Debt Service and the implementation of Non-debt Recurrent Expenditure, including payment of workers’ salaries and pensions, were on track.
He explained that Capital releases only commenced after the signing of the 2018 budget on June 20, 2018; and, as at January 11, 2019, N1.226 trillion had been released for capital projects.
Spending on Capital, senator Udoma explained further, was prioritised in favour of critical ongoing infrastructural projects in the power, roads, rail and agriculture sectors. “Implementation of the 2018 Capital budget will continue into 2019 until the 2019 budget is passed into law,” he pointed out.