Buhari to Preside over `Special’ Federal Executive Council Meeting Friday, Says Adesina

*President Muhammadu Buhari NSA, Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno, Kogi Gov Yahaya Bello as he departs the Military Base, Balice-Krakow International Airport, Poland after a 5-day visit to the country where he attended the COP24 Conference. Photo: Sunday Aghaeze

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By Ismaila Chafe

President Muhammadu Buhari will on Friday preside over meeting of a `Special’ Federal Executive Council to deliberate solely on 2019 draft budget proposal.

Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, revealed this when he briefed State House correspondents at the end of the Council’s meeting.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the FEC meeting was presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday.

Adesina stated that the Friday’s Special FEC meeting would endorse and approve the 2019 draft budget for onward submission to the National Assembly for its approval.

NAN reports that on Oct. 18, Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udoma, at the consultative forum on the medium term expenditure framework (MTEF) and fiscal strategy paper (FSP) 2019 to 2021, said the Federal Government plans to submit a leaner 2019 budget to the National Assembly before the end of November.

In spite of  the recent oil output drop to about 1.9 million barrels a day, Udoma said government was optimistic the 2.3 million barrels a day target was achievable with production now rising to about 2.15 million barrels a day and new oil productions being put into play.

Although a $50 per barrel oil price benchmark was proposed in the ERGP, he said with a significant rise in the price above $80 per barrel currently, government has proposed a $60 a barrel oil price for the budget.

He said N305 was proposed as exchange rate to the dollar, with government working to keep inflation down after slight increases in the last two months on the heels of 18 months consecutive decline.

The projected target gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate for the budget was put at 3.01 per cent, reduced from 4.5 per cent in the ERGP; 3.6 per cent in 2020 and 3.9 per cent in 2021.

“Growth is expected to increase from 0.8 per cent in 2017 to 2.1 per cent this year and 3.01 per cent in 2019 with the continued implementation of the ERGP in 2019 and improved outlook for oil prices,” he said.

On revenue, Udoma said based on the oil price and oil production assumptions, government expects to generate about N3.6 trillion from oil, up by about N500 billion from last year’s figure.

About N6.9 trillion revenue is projected to be available to the budget in 2019.

With other projections showing government expects to collect less revenue from some independent sources, he said only about N624 billion is expected to be realised, against about N847 billion in the 2018 budget, among others.

(NAN)

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