Wednesday, December 19, 2018 07.00PM /
Ottoabasi Abasiekong and Bukola Akinyele for Proshare WebTV
President Muhammad Buhari today presented the 2019 budget of the Federal Republic of Nigeria estimated at N8.83 trillion Naira to the joint session of the National Assembly.
In his presentation the President highlighted the fact that with the nation’s recovery from recession, his administration had achieved a lot in the area of Agriculture, Infrastructure and Social investments.
The President in his presentation shared that the 2019 budget was designed to place the economy on the path of inclusive, diversified and sustainable economic growth, in other to continue to lift significant numbers of our citizens from poverty.
He said the underlying objectives that guided the allocation to Ministries, Department and Agencies of government is anchored on three areas which are components of the economic recovery and growth plan, which include;
· Restoring and Sustaining Growth
· Investing in our People and
· Building a Globally Competitive Economy
Speaking further on the budget, President Buhari said it lies on the following assumptions;
· Oil Price Benchmark of $60 per barrel
· Oil Production of 2.3ml bpd
· GDP Economic Growth of 3.01%
· Inflation Rate of 9.98%
· Exchange Rate of N305 to $1
On the projected revenue for the 2019 budget, the President said it is N6.97 trillion which is 3% lower than the estimate of the 2018 budget estimate.
According to him “Notwithstanding the recent softening in international oil prices, the considered view of most reputable analysts is that the downward trend in oil prices in recent months is not necessarily reflective of the outlook for 2019. However, as a responsible Administration, we will continue to monitor the situation and will respond to any changes in the international oil price outlook for 2019”.
Addressing the much talked about issues around “petroleum subsidy”, President Buhari said the problem with subsidies in the past is the abuse and corruption.
“Today the government through the NNPC is the sole importer of PMS and therefore, the under-recovery is from the NNPCs trading account. This means the possibility of some marketers falsifying claims is removed”.
For the estimates for non-oil revenue, the President stressed that it consists of N799.52 billion from Companies Income Tax (CIT), N229.34 billion from Value Added Tax (VAT) and Customs Duties of N302.55 billion.
The 2019 budget expected estimate from Independent Revenues according to the President, had been reduced to N624.58 billion”.
In the area of the national minimum wage the President informer the Federal lawmakers that a High Powered Technical Committee will be established to advise on ways of funding an increase in the minimum wage, and the attendant wage adjustments, without having to resort to additional borrowings.
For the capital expenditure, Buhari said N2.28 trillion had been allocated for capital spending, inclusive of capital in statutory transfers. He said for comprehensiveness and transparency, the expenditure plans of the larger Government Owned Enterprises (GOEs) as well as Multi-lateral and Bi-lateral project-tied loans have been integrated into the 2019 to 2021 Medium Term Fiscal Framework.
The President assured the National Assembly that his administration will continue to focus on infrastructure projects, enterprise development programmes, digital technology initiatives and industrialization programmes that will unlock the economy and create more jobs.