The Federal Government is proposing to spend the sum of N7.939 trillion in 2018 as against this year’s approved spending level of N7.441 trillion.
The plan was unfolded yesterday by the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, at the presentation / consultative meeting on the 2018- 2020 Medium Term Fiscal Framework/ Fiscal Strategy Paper with civil society organisations (CSOs) and the media in Abuja.
The consultation, which is the first ever engagement with the CSOs is in line with the demands of the provisions of the 2007 Fiscal Responsibility Act to allow the public make inputs into government’s fiscal spending plans every year.
The estimates so far collated and the submissions by the CSOs will be submitted to the Federal Executive Council ( FEC) for approval in two weeks from now and subsequent presentation to the National Assembly for consideration, according to Udoma so as to get the 2018 plan from January 1 next year.
The 2018 Budget proposal parameters also indicates that deficit is to increase from this year’s level of N2.356 trillion to a N2.777 trillion, a gap that has to be filled from borrowing if the government’s vision as captured in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan are to be realised.
The estimates indicate that debt servicing for next year is to grow from the current N1.633 trillion to N1.885 trillion.
The proposed estimates projected that the benchmark price of crude oil per barrel would be $45 up from the current $44.5 with the oil production level expected to grow from the current 2.2 million level per day to 2.3 million barrels
Meanwhile, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), is disturbed by the continued fall of its monthly allocation revenue share from the federation account which stood at N4.3 billion in 2015 but dropping to a mere N2.1 billion in May, 2017.
It said the situation calls for the administration to tap into its rich agriculture and mineral potentials to bridge the gap and be able to meet its monthly wage bill of N4 billion for the over 28,000 staff strength.
It is also worried on the delay in receiving its share of N1.2 billion first tranche of the Paris Club funds from the Federal Government.
The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, gave the revelations yesterday in Abuja while fielding questions from the Senate Committee on FCT during the Committee’s hearing on the Bill for the Political and Administrative Structure of FCT Area Councils.
Bello used the occasion to call on the six Area Councils to ensure that the they used the recent N684 million gotten from the Federal Government as its share from the second tranche of Paris Club funds to defray the arrears of salaries owed their staff.
He also suggested for a special fund to ensure prompt payment of severance packages to Area Council political office holders adding that such proposal could be made possible by setting aside a percentage of the Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) of the Area Councils upon collection.