The Federal Government is proposing a Medium Term Expenditures Framework (MTEF) of N6 trillion for the 2016 budget. The decision on the budget was taken at an impromptu meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) held Monday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Briefing journalists after the council meeting, which was chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari, Minister for Budget and Regional Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, said the approved MTEF would be the government’s framework for the rest of the administration.
He added that the council in the proposal pegged the sale of crude oil at $38 per barrel, a price he said, was considered as conservative and sustainable. The minister said that the council projected the production of 2.2 million barrels of crude oil per day within the three fiscal years.
According to him, the 2016 budget proposal, which has a trillion Naira above the 2015 budget is an expansionist projection with the aim of increasing infrastructure budget to 30 percent from its current 15 percent.
He disclosed that the approved MTEF would be forwarded to the National Assembly for consideration and passage while the government would continue to work on the actual 2016 budget proposal to be submitted to the lawmakers at a later date.
Asked how the government intended to fund the budget considering the downward trend of the nation’s income, Udoma said that the administration intended to expand its earnings from the non-oil revenues and reduce recurrent expenditures.
Asked whether the government intended to cut workers’ salaries, Udoma assured that such would never happen even under the current administration.
He however hinted that the government was expecting certain savings from the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information Systems (IPPIS) that it is currently using in disbursement of staff salaries.
While maintaining that the present exchange rate given by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was maintained in the MTEF, the minister said the council has yet to decide on whether or not to retain the fuel subsidy.