Thursday, 6 December 2018

President Buhari Fixes Special FEC Meeting For Friday

President Muhammadu Buhari will on Friday preside over a ‘Special’ Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting to deliberate solely on 2019 draft budget proposal.

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

The meeting was presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Adesina said the 2019 draft budget would be endorsed and approved for onward submission to the National Assembly for approval.

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

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The minister had said in spite of  the recent oil output drop to about 1.9 million barrels a day, the government was optimistic that 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, Udoma said with a significant rise in the price above $80 per barrel currently, government had proposed a $60 a barrel oil price for the budget.

Udoma 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.

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