President Goodluck Jonathan has proposed a total expenditure of N4.92 trillion for the 2013 fiscal year. Addressing a joint session of the National Assembly, the president said the budget which is based on fiscal consolidation has the deficit reduced to 2.17% from 2.85% in 2012.
The budget maintained an oil benchmark of $75 per barrel as provided in the Middle Term Expenditure Framework with a reduction in the recurrent expenditure and increase in the capital expenditure.
Under the outlay, recurrent expenditure will cost N2.41 trillion while N1.54 trillion will be spent on capital projects.
He put the oil production at 2.53 million bpd up by 500, 000 bpd (2.48 million bpd) this year, and a global oil price of $75 a barrel, up from $72 this year.
Jonathan urged The National Assembly to accept a tighter budget because of ongoing uncertainty over oil prices.
“This threat of oil price volatility remains constant and forces us to rely on a prudent methodology when calculating the benchmark price,” he said.
“These are uncertain times in the world economy. We’ve taken necessary steps to mitigate possible negative effects … of a global recession.”
He proposed cutting recurrent expenditure to 68.7 percent of the total budget, from its current 71.47 percent.
The president also added that the government would issue a $1 billion Eurobond next year to finance a gas pipeline for domestic use.
The House of Representatives, had yesterday, adopted the recommendation of its joint committee set up to look into the 2013-2015 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper insisting on increasing the oil benchmark to $80.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, while giving the vote of thanks on behalf of the National Assembly, commended the president on the visit and for “undertaking this very important constitutional responsibility of the laying of the year 2013 budget estimates”.
He went further to state the president’s conformity with the act that mandates the president to submit the budget three months before the beginning of a fiscal year.
Tambuwal assured the president of the legislatures’ support and commitment to ensure the success and smooth passage of the budget.
He called on the president to look into the ill treatment resolutions of the House receives from the executives and the unguarded utterances of some members of his cabinet.
“I am compelled however to state that the National Assembly is becoming increasingly concerned about the disregard for its resolutions and public comments by certain functionaries of the Executive on same. I cite the Senate Resolution on the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), the House Resolution on the state of insecurity of the nation, requesting Mr. President to visit and brief the House, the House of Representatives Resolution on the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), the concurrent Resolution of the two Chambers on Bakassi among others. This does not promote cordial relationship between the Executive and Legislature and consequently stability in the polity”.
When approved, the implementation of the budget will commence from January 1, 2013 against past practices where implementations spilled into months of the year in view said Jonathan.