Journalism of Courage

2019 budget: FEC blames NASS over presentation delay

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has blamed the National Assembly for the delay in the presentation of 2019 budget by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Briefing State House correspondents at the end of the weekly FEC meeting on Wednesday in Abuja, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma,said the inability of the leadership to communicate date for the presentation of the budget was responsible for the delay. 
He said the executive is ready for the presentation of the budget estimates, saying, “As you already know, the budget is ready. We are liaising with the National Assembly because they are to give us a date. If they say today, we will go. The budget is ready,” he said.

The Minister further said N305 was proposed as exchange rate to the US dollar, with government working to keep inflation down after slight increases in the last two months on the heels of 18 months consecutive decline.
According to him, the projected target gross domestic product 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 explained.

On revenue projections, the minister said government expects N3.6 trillion from oil, up by about N500 billion from last year’s figure based on the oil price and oil production assumptions. 
Persecond reports that that FEC had on October 24, 2018, approved the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) for 2019-2021, to provide template for the 2019 budget. 
The council approved a budget estimate of N8.73 trillion for the 2019, N400 billion lower than the 2018 budget.

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