President Muhammadu Buhari has proposed a budget of N6. 9 trillion for 2017 fiscal year. This is nearly a trillion naira more than this year’s N6.06 trillion budget. This proposal is contained in the 2017 – 2019 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) the president sent to the National Assembly yesterday.
He sent the document to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.
Buhari said the preparation for the submission of the 2017 budget was in progress.
The document articulates the government’s economic, social and developmental objectives and the strategies for achieving them, he said.
The president noted that the decline in oil price since mid 2014 had continued to expose the Nigerian economy to both domestic and external vulnerabilities.
The crude oil benchmark has been jerked up from $38 in 2016 to $42.5 per barrel for 2017.
The exchange rate has also been jerked up from N197 per dollar to N290 but the daily crude oil production of 2.2 million has been retained.
The sum of N2.6 trillion is for recurrent (non-debt) expenditure, N1.8 trillion for capital expenditure; N1.6 trillion for debt service and N370 billion for statutory transfers.
The special intervention programme is allocated N350 billion, a reduction of N150 billion from that of this year while N177 billion is allocated for sinking fund to retire maturing loans.
The budget also showed that out of the N2.6 trillion proposed for recurrent (non-debt expenditure), N1.8 trillion is for personnel costs (MDAs).
Others are N188 billion for CRF pensions; N180 billion for overheads; N120 billion for SWV pensions; N145.7 billion for Service Wide Votes; N65 billion for the Presidential Amnesty Programme and N50 billion for refund to special accounts.
The three-year expenditure framework goes thus; N6, 866,335,052,740 – 2017, N6, 847,573,238,276 – 2018, N7, 117,671,597,899 – 2019.
The document said government was working towards setting up a $25billion Infrastructure Development Fund as a means of attracting non-budgetary resources.
“As the fund becomes established, government may move some critical capital projects and related budgetary resources, currently in the purview of MDAs to the fund. This will ring-fence resources committed to the completion of the projects in a more efficient manner,” it said.
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is projected to grow at 3.02 percent in 2017 and inflation is expected to moderate to 12.92 percent.
The document showed that the country’s total public debt stood at $61.45billion about N16.3trillion as at 30th June 2016.
“The total debt stock is composed of external debt stock of $11.26 billion (about N3.9trillion) and domestic debt stock of $50.19 billion (N13.1trillion). Of the total domestic debt, the Federal government was responsible for about 74.6 percent while the 36 States and FCT accounted for the balance,” the document reads.
President Buhari said the proposals were designed against the backdrop of the adverse global economic environment as well as fiscal challenges in domestic economy.
This year’s budget of N6.06 trillion is unprecedented but its implementation has been severely affected by falling crude oil prices and disruption in domestic production due to constant attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta.
The attacks have at one point cut production by nearly a million barrel per day.