Posted by By Emma Ujah on
The Federal Government yesterday said the N379 billion deficit in this year's budget would be financed from the excess crude oil revenue account, earnings from the sale of federal Govenment properties and borrowing, subject, however, to the approval of the National Assembly.
ABUJA— The Federal Government yesterday said the N379 billion deficit in this year's budget would be financed from the excess crude oil revenue account, earnings from the sale of federal Govenment properties and borrowing, subject, however, to the approval of the National Assembly.
Shedding light on the N1.899 trillion budget in Abuja yesterday, Director-General of Budget, Mr Bode Augusto, also said the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) would no longer be allowed to deduct funds from oil earnings on grounds of subsidy without paying the entire revenue to the Federation Account
According to him, the NNPC would be paid on a monthly basis claims on such subsidies but only after verification of the claims by the Budget Office.
Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, gave details on the budget, pledging 90 per cent implementation.
Total revenue has been estimated at N1.522 trillion based on crude oil revenue benchmark of $35 per barrel but the minister said the Federal Government was comfortable with the estimated deficit put at 2.6 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) given the fact that the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) made allowance for annual deficit of not more than three per cent of the GDP.
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala identified physical and human infrastructure as the priorities of the budget with sectors such as education, power, water, roads, health, agriculture and security allocated about 50 per cent.
In addition to the traditional budget allocations, the minister said the priority sectors had other forms of funding in line with the pledge of the Federal Government to improve the key infrastructure facilities with a view to making life more meaningful for the Nigerians as well as making businesses more profitable.
Her words: “This shows the importance the government attaches to these sectors in view of their centrality, also for the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MGDs). The areas of basic physical and human infrastructure are the areas most important to Nigerian households and businesses because they yearn for government to improve basic service delivery as fast as possible.”
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