The Federal Government has made a budget proposal of N8.61 trillion for the 2018 fiscal year.
President Muhammad Buhari presented the appropriation bill before a joint session of the National Assembly a few minutes ago in Abuja.
The proposed oil benchmark price is $45 per barrel, while the oil production target is 2.3 million barrels per day. There is also an assumption of N305/$1 as the exchange rate in the appropriation bill, and a projected inflation rate of 12.5 per cent.
Total capital expenditure is N2.428 trillion while recurrent expenditure amounted to N3.494 trillion. The capital expenditure is just 28 per cent of the total budget proposal, which by implication means that the impact of the 2018 budget on the economy will be minimal. It is the capital expenditure that brings about execution of projects like roads, electricity, agriculture, health and education which will go a long way in injecting funds into the economy and engendering real growth. Going by the government’s record on capital budget implementation, the chances are that not more than 70 per cent of the capital expenditure would be implemented next year.
It is also doubtful if the nation can achieve and sustain oil production level of 2.3 million barrels per day, going by the unpredictable restive nature of the Niger Delta region where the bulk of Nigeria’s oil production takes place.
There is however some hope for the second Niger bridge, as the government made a provision of N10 billion for it in the 2018 budget.
President Buhari, while presenting the budget tagged ‘Budget of Consolidation’ urged the National Assembly to work expeditiously on the appropriation bill to ensure that the passage of the bill before the end of this year.
Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara, while giving the vote of thanks on behalf of the joint session, assured President Buhari that the National Assembly looked forward to a cooperative, consultative and inclusive consideration of the 2018 budget proposals as presented by Mr. President.