The Federal Government Thursday revealed that as early as October this year, it will be sending 2018 budget of about N7.9 trillion to the National Assembly.
The decision to send the budget proposal by early October, the Federal Government explained, was in line with provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2000. It added that the move will allow for ample time for the consideration and passage of the fiscal document.
This was made known by the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma in Abuja during a public dialogue with top government officials, members of civil society organisations and the Organised Private Sector, among others, on the 2018-2020 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.
According to the minister, the whole essence of the plan was for government to ensure that the country returns to a predictable budget year of January to December life span.
“We are having extensive consultations and all the inputs from the various consultations will be taken into consideration in preparing the MTEF and Fiscal Strategy Paper.
“The MTEF outlines the Federal Government’s fiscal policies and our macroeconomic projections for the next three years from 2018 to 2020, and it provides the broad framework for the 2018 budget.
“And as you know, we are committed to delivering the 2018 budget to the National Assembly by the beginning of October, and this is part of that process,” he said.
On the parameters for the 2018 budget, Udoma explained that the Federal Government was looking at spending the sum of N7.9 trilion as against N7.44 trilion this year.
He further said that the fiscal deficit was presumed to rise to N2.77 trilion from N2.35 trilion in the 2017 fiscal year, which according to him means that Nigerians had no need to panic about the country’s debt burden.
Noting that there was no country in the world that does not borrow, he assured that Nigeria’s debt status is still within sustainable threshold as approved by the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007.
He said, “We are maintaining our deficit and debts within sustainable limits. Debt financing will be restructured gradually in favour of foreign financing as part of the strategy to lower debt service burden and free up more fiscal space for the private sector.”
A total oil production volume of 2.3 million barrels per day with an oil price benchmark of $45 per barrel, he said was Federal Government target.
Among other plans, he said the desire of the Federal Government is to ensure that in 2018, inflation rate is reduced ro 12.42 per cent with a Gross Domestic Product growth rate of 4.8 per cent and nominal GDP of N133.97tn.
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