FEC proposes N8.6trn as 2019 budget

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A special meeting of the federal executive council convened on Friday at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari has proposed N8.6 trillion as the budget for the 2019 fiscal year.

The minister of budget and national planning, Mr. Udoma Udo Udoma who disclosed this to journalists in Abuja after of the extraordinary meeting presided over by the president said the next stage was to liaise with the national assembly to pick a date for Buhari to present the estimates

“It will be presented to the National Assembly; we will have to consult them in terms of the date of that presentation.

“The budget is the president’s budget; it is the president that presents it; I would be usurping his authority if I gave further details.

“We are hoping to be in touch with the National Assembly as soon as possible.

“They have to agree to the date they will receive the budget. We are going to be in touch with them immediately; but the budget is ready.

“If I speculate on that, I will be encroaching on the role of the National Assembly,’’ he said.

It would be recalled that the FEC had, on October 4, approved the 2019/2021 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.

Udoma had said that the MTEF and FSP that were approved were designed to translate the strategic development objectives of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan into a realistic and implementable budget framework for the medium term.

The minister had said that the MTEF projected a proposed budget of N8.73tn for the 2019 fiscal year, adding that the figure was about N400bn less than the 2018 budget of N9.12 trillion.

Besides, the minister had in November, announced that the federal government was considering a leaner 2019 budget of N8.6trn, which is leaner than the N9.1trn approved by lawmakers for 2018.

Addressing a consultative forum on the medium term expenditure framework and fiscal strategy paper 2019-2021, the Minister said the decision was due to reduced government revenue projection for the year.

He also said government planned to cut down the level of borrowing from N1.6trn in 2018 to N1.5trn in 2019, while the deficit component would be reduced from N1.9trn in 2018 to N1.6trn.

With Punch and NAN reports

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