Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
The federal government wednesday in Abuja, 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 document consists of oil benchmark, oil production volume, revenue target, exchange rate and inflation rate for the next three fiscal years, among other projections.
Briefing journalists at the end of wednesday’s weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in the State House, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, said the N8.73trillion projection for 2019 fiscal year was about N400 billion lower than the N9.12 trillion budget passed by the National Assembly in 2018.
Disclosing some of the components of the document, Udoma said it would be submitted to the National Assembly for approval, adding that the MTEF and FSP is designed to translate the strategic development objectives of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plans (ERGP) into a realistic and implementable budget framework for the medium term.
Udoma who added that the MTEF and FSP were prepared to consult with relevant stakeholders in the country, listed components of the document to include $60 oil price benchmark, oil production volume of 2.3million barrels per day, exchange rate of N305 to $1 and gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 3.01 per cent.
He said, “Today, Federal Executive Council approved the 2019-2021 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) and it will be submitted to the National Assembly for their consideration.
“The MTEF and FSP that was approved today is designed to translate the strategic development objectives of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) into a realistic and implementable budget framework for the medium term.
“As you know, relevant inputs from engagements with stakeholders, the last of such engagements, was done last week, the inputs from stakeholders were part of the document that was submitted.
“The key highlights are the following assumptions which are being proposed for the 2019 budget – oil price benchmark of $60 oil production of 2.3 million barrels per day, exchange rate of N305 per US dollars and the GDP growth rate of 3.01 per cent. In addition, the MTEF projects a budget size in 2019 of N8.73 trillion which is about N400 billion less than the N9.12 trillion for 2018.”
Also briefing, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, said the council approved $1.5 million loan from the African Development Fund to finance multinational Lagos – Abidjan corridor highway development project.
According to Ahmed, the multinational project would be a six-lane dual carriage highway project linking five countries including Nigeria, Benin Republic, Cote D’Ivore, Ghana and Togo.
According to her, the decision to embark on this project was taken at the 42nd meeting of the Authorities of Heads of States and Governments of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in 2013.
The minister said, “Today, the Ministry of Finance went to council to obtain approval for a loan of $1.5 million from the African Development Fund to finance the multi-national Abidjan-Lagos corridor highway development project study.
“The multi-national project that is running from Abidjan-Lagos corridor will be a highway project that will be in six lanes, a dual carriageway highway that will involve five countries including the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Federal Republic of Benin, Republic of Cote’d’Ivoire, Republic of Ghana and the Togolese Republic.
“At the 42nd Ordinary Session of Heads of States’ meeting of the ECOWAS countries in 2013, this project was discussed and approved. The African Development Bank in 2016 approved the total sum of $13.5million for the whole of the project to finance both the study in the form of a loan as well as the grant.
“So, this $13.5 million has been distributed among the participating countries and the component for Nigeria is $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.”
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the council also approved N63.023 billion for the reconstruction of Lagos – Badagry – Seme road project.
However, Fashola added that the 46 kilometre-road project did not include Eric More area of Surulere to Okokomaiko section of Lagos – Badagry express way.
“Council approved 46 kilometre-road contract from Agbara to Seme border, out of which 24 kilometres will be six lanes, while 22 kilometres will retain the current four lanes to be reconstructed and rehabilitated,” Fashola said.
The minister further explained that the road is part of the Lagos – Abidjan corridor project mentioned earlier by the finance minister, noting that the Nigerian part of the corridor runs from Eric More through Badagry to Seme Border.
He added, “Ghana has done theirs. Cote D’ Ivore has done theirs. Togo and Benin have something in place. Some of them have to move because of coastal erosion by the Atlantic and how to reintegrate all of that is part of the study that is being funded by the ADB to ensure simple and efficient border controls.”
He also said the council approved N1.029 billion for the construction of Gwarzo-Karaie road, a 20-kilometre highway project in Kano State at the cost of N1.029b.
Fashola who said FEC also resolved to terminate and re-award a contract for the execution of 10 megawatts’ Katsina wind energy project, added that the council as well approved the African trans-Sahara highway project from Algiers to Lagos.