The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr Udoma Udo-Udoma, has revealed that the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework would be ready and submitted to the National Assembly for consideration by October.
The Minister disclosed this in Abuja on Monday at a Stakeholders Consultative Forum with Civil Society Groups and organised private sector on the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework.
Mr. Udo-Udoma revealed that the Federal Government had expended N2.1 trillion out of the N6.06 trillion approved budget for 2016 while only N253 billion of the N1.8 trillion earmarked capital projects had been spent so far.
According to him, the document makes conservative assumptions for the average oil price, rising from US$38.0/b this year to US$42.5/b in 2017 and US$50.0/b in 2019.
Its projections for output have 2.20 mbpd for next year, increasing to 2.40 mbpd in 2019. The assumption is that security is quickly restored to the delta.
He also envisage a 42% increase in VAT receipts in 2017. It is unclear whether this is based on a higher compliance rate and/or a hike in the standard 5% levy, as advocated by the IMF.
Meanwhile, The Lead Director, Centre for Social Justice, Mr Eze Onyepere, urges the federal government to learn and build on the mistakes of the 2016 budget. He said:
“We should draw lessons from the mistakes of the last budget. We have all seen that the revenue projections for 2016 were over optimistic. This is why we are finding it difficult to get money to fund the budget especially the capital expenditure.
“In 2017 onwards, we should be more empirical in our revenue forecast. Let it be more realistic so that there won’t be a deviation of more than minus or plus five percent.”
Adding that: “We can do supplementary budgets rather than have an overly optimistic revenue projections and at the end of the day we are not able to fund our budget.”