February 22, 2012/ By Ndubuisi Francis
The Budget Office of the Federation (BoF) reaffirmed yesterday that the benchmark of the 2012 Budget remains $70 per barrel and not $90 as claimed by a media report.
BoF Director-General, Dr. Bright Okogu, in an e-mailed statement made available to THISDAY, said it was necessary to clarify that “with regard to the revised 2012 Budget recently submitted to the National Assembly by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, some important details in the (said) report were inaccurate.
“For instance, the claim that the budget benchmark has been changed to $90 per barrel is not true. The benchmark price remains $70 per barrel as reflected in the revised Medium Term Fiscal Framework.
“Secondly, the paper also stated that the provision made for subsidy against the background of partial deregulation is N180 billion. The correct figure, as widely published recently, is N888 billion,” the BoF DG said.
According to him, it was also vital to clarify that the deficit in the revised budget was within the limit of three per cent of GDP as enunciated in the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007 “in line with the commitment of the Federal Government to maintaining a prudent fiscal stance.
“The Budget Office of the Federation would like to stress that the revised budget is a rigorous document focused on growth and development within the context of prudent management of resources,” the statement concluded.
Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, had last week, unveiled a revised budget proposal of N4.648 trillion, down from N4.749 trillion in the original budget presented to the National Assembly on December 13, 2011 by President Goodluck Jonathan. Government also slashed aggregate expenditure by N100.25 billion.