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Jonathan proposes N4.661tn for 2015 budget

President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday sent a revised version of the 2015 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper to the Senate for necessary adjustments.

The development was sequel to the sudden crash in fuel prices in the international oil market.

The government also reduced the earlier N250bn proposed as kerosene subsidy to N156bn and drastically reduced the subsidy for petrol from N971.1bn to N458.6 bn.

The Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo – Iweala, had announced a new oil benchmark of $73 per barrel last week.

Jonathan had last month submitted to the National Assembly the 2015 MTEF with the proposed oil benchmark of $78 per barrel of crude oil for its consideration and approval.

But in his latest letter read by the Senate President, David Mark, the President explained that it became imperative to revise the initial proposed benchmark in order to pilot the nation’s economy in tandem with the dictates of the global economy.

The letter reads, “You recall that I transmitted the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and the Fiscal Strategy Paper to the National Assembly for consideration and approval. However, recent developments in the international oil market have necessitated that the MTEF be revised.

“Consequently, following further consultations with key stakeholders, adjustments shall be made to some of the key parameters as well as to some fiscal estimates in the MTEF.”

The President in the new MTEF proposed N4.661tn as the budget estimates for the 2015 fiscal year.

The figure is, however, lower than the earlier N4.817tn proposed in the MTEF and FSP document which was presented to the Senate on October 15.

The N4.661tn n budget estimate was predicated on $73 per barrel oil benchmark and a foreign exchange rate of N162 to a dollar as against the earlier proposal of $78 per barrel benchmark and an exchange rate of N160 to one dollar.

A careful study of the document showed that the fresh proposal of N4.661tn is over N100bn lower than the N4.724tn appropriated by the National Assembly in the 2014 budget.

The 2015 oil benchmark of $73 per barrel also revealed a $4 and 50 cents reduction from the $77.50 on which the current 2014 budget was predicated.

The new MTEF and FSP also showed a reduction in capital expenditure from the earlier proposed N1.436tn to N1.208tn.

However, the Federal Government retained the recurrent expenditure of N2.622tn proposal in the first MTEF/FSP.

The capital expenditure also includes N184.8bn Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Project fund as against the N259bn proposed in the initial MTEF/FSP.

       
Date Posted: 25 November 2014

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