Approves 2019-2021 MTEF, FSP
By Lawrence Olaoye
Federal Executive Council (FEC) has yesterday approved the sum of N8.73 trillion as the 2019 budget proposal to be submitted to the National Assembly for approval.
The proposed 2019 budget was about N400 billion short of N9.2 trillion passed by the lawmakers as 2018 budget.
The Council also approved the 2019-2021 Medium Term Expenditure Frameworks (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper FSP.
Briefing newsmen after the weekly FEC meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari, Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, said the projection will soon be submitted to the National Assembly for consideration and approval.
He explained that the MTEF / FSP was 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
Key highlight, according to him, include oil price benchmark of $60, oil production of 2.3m barrels per day, exchange rate of N305 to $1, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 3.01% and a budget size of N8.73 trillion-about N400b less than the N9.2 trillion of 2018.
Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, who also briefed newsmen, disclosed
that the Council granted approval for a loan of $1.5m from the African Development Fund (AfDB) to finance the multinational Lagos-Abidjan corridor highway development project study.
The multinational project will be a highway with six lanes, dual carriage way project that will involve five countries, including Nigeria, Benin Republic, Republic of Cote D’Ivore, Ghana and Togo, she said.
The Minister added that 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.
“The African Development Bank in 2016, as a follow up, approved the total sum of $13.5m for the whole project to finance both the study in form of a loan as well as a grant.”
She disclosed further that the entire fund had been distributed amongst the participating countries and the component for Nigeria is $1.5m.
“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.”
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, disclosed that the Ministry presented a memorandum for the award of contract for the rehabilitation of Lagos-Badagry-Seme road project.
The road project, which is 46 kilometers, excludes the parts from Eric More to Okokomaiko section in Lagos.
“Council approved 46 kilometers from Agbara to Seme border, out of which 24 kilometers will be six lanes, while 22 kilometers will retain the current four lanes to be reconstructed and rehabilitated. FEC approved the project at the cost of N63.023b.”
Fashola explained that the road was part of the Lagos to Abidjan corridor, while Nigeria side of it was from Eric-More to Badagry to Seme border.
“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 is part of the study that is being funded by the AfDB to ensure simple and efficient border controls,” he explained.
He continued: “The Ministry also got approval for the construction of the road linking Gwarzo to Karaye, a twenty kilometers high way project in Kano State, at the cost of N1.029b, as well as approval to terminate and re-award the contract for the 10 megawatts Katsina wind energy project.
“The project with a total of 37 turbines has 15 already completed, while 22 are in different stages of completion. The 15 completed, is already generating about 4 megawatts of electricity and is being used by the Power Distribution Company.”
According to him, the main contractors were not giving government the kind of cooperation needed, just as it was learnt that the local contractor that they hired was the one actually doing the job.
“We have decided to terminate the contract, and use the balance to pay the local contractor who has done 15 to install the remaining 22.
“Council approved that at N121.073m out of the existing contract. So, it is not a new contract. It is so that the contractor can complete the work in the next five months.
“Council also approved the African trans-Sahara high way project from Algiers to Lagos. The Nigerian section is the Lagos to Katsina border side, transversing Ibadan, Oyo Ogbomosho, Ilorin , Katsina, Abuja, Kano etc.
“If you look at what the President has done in the last few days, a committee on the African Free Trade Agreement protocols, these are the critical infrastructures that link us. So, from South to North, from Lagos through the West Coast, are the interconnections on how we relate with other African countries.”
Water Resources Minister, Suleiman Adamu, also announced that Council approved the revised estimated total cost for the construction of Zobe regional Water supply scheme in Katsina State, phases 1 (a) and 2, as part of efforts to complete infrastructures inherited by the federal government.
The project was first awarded in 1992 but was abandoned, with a new contractor taking over in 2009, but where never paid.
Adamu stated that the Buhari administration inherited the project at 75% completion in 2015.
“Council approved the augmentation of N12.15b to bring the project to a total of N22.1b with an additional completion period of 18 months.”
He disclosed that the federal government recently signed a N10 billion agreement with the Katsina government for the completion of the phase1(b) of the project.