Nigeria approves three year budget plan

Ben Adam Shemang, Abuja

Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council has approved a three year Medium Term Expenditure Framework MTEF and the Fiscal Strategy Paper FSP from 2017 to 2019.

The Fiscal Responsibility Act requires the executive to prepare the MTEF and send to the National Assembly for their consideration.

This decision was taken at the Council’s meeting at the State House Presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Briefing State House Correspondents afterwards, the Minister of Budget and national Planning, Senator Udoma udo Udoma stressed the importance of planning ahead “the 2017 to 2019 MTEF has the highlights that government intends to intensify effort in pursuing non oil driven economy. So we intend to intensify efforts to diversify the economy, we intend to continue with implementation of ongoing reforms in public finance” , he said.

The marked difference during the period under focus is that government intends to create suitable environments for business either local or international, to take place.

The government says security, roads, railways, and other critical sectors of the economy will receive prompt government attention.

Crude oil Projections

The Minister went to give a foresight into the future of the budget “Let me share with you some of the parameters of the 2017 to 2019 MTEF. Oil price benchmark, we intend to use $42.50 as a reference price for 2017. We are projecting $45 in 2018 and $50 in 2019. We are keeping it very conservative in terms of reference price for crude oil even though we are expecting it to go higher”

Despite the dwindling fortune of oil at the international market which also affects production, the Nigerian government is moving ahead with great plans. This is according to the minister, “in terms of oil production, we are keeping to the same level as this year for 2017 which is 2.2mbpd, in 2018, it is 2.3mbpd and 2019 is 2.4mbpd”

Udoma also says the government is also full of vision as it intends to make the country a beehive of activities.

Therefore, the growth rate according to government projection is as follows “in terms of growth rate, we are targeting that in 2017, we intend to achieve a 3% growth rate. In 2018, a 4.26% and in 2019, 4.04% the reason 2019 is slightly lower is because that is election year because of uncertainties”, the planning and budgeting minister said.

Nnenna.O