By Christiana Ekpa, Umar Puma and Ikechukwu Okaforadi
Ahead of the presentation of the 2019 budget, President Mohammadu Buhari yesterday sent 2019-2021 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper, FSP to the National Assembly.
The senate President Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on resumption of plenary from two weeks recess for oversight functions on Tuesday acknowledged the receipt of the document which was read in the two Chambers.
Peoples Daily reports that transmission of the MTEF/FSP is essential and indispensable for the subsequent submission of any fiscal year’s budget as provided for in the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007.
It is also certain that President Buhari before the end of the 2018 will lay the 2019 financial estimates before a joint session of the National Assembly.
Salient economic ingredients for 2019 budget included $60 oil price benchmark; 2.3 million barrels per day; $305/$1 exchange rate and 3.01 percent GDP growth rate.
Buhari in his letter solicited for the cooperation of the two Chambers in the expeditious consideration and approval of the document.
Recall that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had on Wednesday, 24th October 2018 approved a budgetary proposal of N8.73 trillion for 2019 fiscal year which showed N400 billion lower than N9.12 trillion proposed for 2018 fiscal year.
According to the revised MTEF/FSP submitted by the Budget Office of the Federation, the fiscal deficit was reduced from N2.356 trillion (2.61%) to N2.005 trillion (1.77%) to be financed mainly by borrowing of N1.699 trillion; inflation rate pegged at 12.42%, nominal revenue of N11.3 trillion and 3.5% growth rate for 2018 fiscal year.