By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA—THE Federal Government has said the 2019 budget is expected to run at nominal Gross Domestic Product, GDP, of 139.65 trillion and 3.01 percent of GDP growth.
It noted that other key assumptions of micro-framework of the budget are based on a projection of 2.3 mbpd oil production, oil price benchmark of $60pb, exchange rate of N305 to a dollar, 9.98 inflation rate and 119,28 trillion nominal consumption.
Similarly, Economic Recovery Growth Plan, ERGP, also projected oil production at 2.4mbpd, oil price benchmark of $50pb, exchange rate of N305 to a dollar, 13.39 inflation rate, 106, 03 trillion nominal consumption, 126, 36 trillion nominal GDP and 4.5 percent GDP growth rate.
The figures were disclosed by Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, Mr. Ben Akabueze, during a public hearing on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, held by the House of Representatives Joint Committee on Finance, Appropriation, Aids, Loans and Debt Management headed by Babangida Ibrahim, yesterday, in Abuja.
Akabueze explained that Nigeria was expected to continue to experience growth from 0.8 percent in 2017 to 2.1 percent in 2018 and 3.01 percent in 2019 having emerged from recession in the second quarter of 2017.
The DG, however, put the 2018 budget performance at 55 performance.
“As at the end of 2018, Federal Government aggregate revenue was N3.96 trillion, which is 55 percent of the budget and which is higher than the 2017 revenue,” he said.
Giving the breakdown, he placed oil revenue at N2.32 trillion, 77 percent of budget and 64 percent higher than 2017; Company Income Tax, CIT, of N637, 25 billion, 80 percent of budget and 1.7 percent higher than 2017 and Customs Collection of N303, 91billion, 94 percent of budget and 16 percent higher than 2017.
He added that “Notwithstanding the softening in the international oil prices in late 2018, the opinion of most reputable oil industry analysts is that the downward trend is not necessarily reflective of the outlook for 2019. Currently, the average Brent oil price projection for 2019 by 32 different institutions with relevant expertise is still about $69/b.”
“We will closely monitor the situation and will respond to any sustained changes in the international oil price outlook for 2019. Mr. President has directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to take all possible measures to achieve the targeted oil production of 2.3 million barrels per day.
“The budget proposal seeks to continue the reflationary and consolidation policies of the 2017 and 2018 budgets respectively, which helped put the economy back on the path of growth,” he said.
Executive Chairmen, Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Mr. Babatunde Fowler who spoke on the projected tax revenue also said, that the tax office was sure of a better performance in 2019.
He said: “For the year 2018, the Federal Government gave the FIRS a collection target of N6, 747 trillion. Analysis of actual collection figures for the year ended December 2018 shows that we collected a total of N5. 320 trillion, which represents 78.86 percent of the target.
“The FIRS 2019 – 2021 revenue framework is based on the 2019 – 2021 Medium Term Expenditure, MTEF and Fiscal Strategy Paper, FSP. While the collection figure for 2018 were significantly higher than ever before, the FIRS is not resting on it oars and is continuing with the implementation of various measures to ensure that tax revenue collection significantly improves further in 2019.”