FG proposes N8.7trn budget for 2019

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The federal government has approved the 2019 – 2021 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) comprising N8.7 trillion budget proposal for the 2019 fiscal year.

MTEF and FSP is a single document which spells out government projections for three fiscal years in medium term.

The minister of budget and national planning, Mr. Udoma Udo Udoma said after the federal executive council meeting in Abuja on Wednesday that the projection would be transmitted to the national assembly for legislative approval.

He said the MTEF/FSP is specifically designed to translate the strategic development objectives of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) into an implementable budget framework for the medium term.

Key highlights include oil price benchmark of $60, oil production of 2.3 million barrels per day, exchange rate of N305 to 1USD, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 3.01 per cent and a budget size of N8.73 trillion, about N400 billion less than the N9.2 trillion of 2018.

The minister of finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed disclosed that the FEC session, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, also granted approval for a loan of $1.5 million from the African Development Fund to finance the multinational Lagos to Abidjan corridor highway development project.

The corridor, she explained, would be a six-lane, dual-carriage highway spanning five countries: Nigeria, Benin Republic, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana and Togo.

Ahmed said the decision was taken at the 42nd meeting of the Authorities of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States ECOWAS in 2013.

As a follow-up, she said the African Development Bank in 2016 approved the total sum of $13.5 million for the entire project, she said.

She disclosed that the fund had been distributed among the participating countries and that the component for Nigeria was $1.5 million.

“The FEC has approved that we accept this facility, so that the project study can be commissioned towards the planning of the execution of the highway project itself,” she added.

Also briefing State House correspondents, the minister of power, works and housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, disclosed that his ministry presented a memorandum for the award of contract for the rehabilitation of the Lagos-Badagry-Seme road.

He said the 46-kilometre project excludes the part connecting Eric Moore to the Okokomaiko section in Lagos.

FEC approved the project at the cost of N63.023 billion. Council approved 46 kilometers from Agbara to Seme border, of which 24 kilometers will be six lanes, while 22 kilometers will retain the current four lanes to be reconstructed and rehabilitated,î he said.

The council also approved the African trans-Sahara highway project from Algiers to Lagos.

The Nigerian section is the Lagos to Katsina border side, traversing Ibadan, Oyo, Ogbomosho, Ilorin, Katsina, Abuja and Kano.

With The Guardian report

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