The Sun News

N’Assembly yet to transmit 2017 budget to Presidency

…As EMT sets up fund mobilisation team

From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

The National Assembly has yet to officially transmit a copy of the 2017 budget it passed last week to the executive and the Economic Management Team (EMT) presided over by Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, to facilitate appropriations of funds for its implementation.

This was as the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to Osinbajo, Laolu Akande, hinted the EMT was already looking at the funding options available to government to enable it commence immediate implementation as soon as it receives a copy of the budget.

He said a smaller committee has been constituted in the EMT to look at the issue of funding. “The EMT discussed the funding of the budget so that we can hit the ground running, once we receive the budget formally and it is signed into law. That was what was discussed in relation to the budget, revenues, loans, among others.

“There are basically ongoing discussions. There is a smaller group in the EMT that is responsible for the funding and it is just an ongoing discussion,” he said.

Other members of the EMT are the Ministers of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udoma, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, alongside the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, Directors General of the Budget Office, Debt Management Office (DMO) and other relevant agencies.

The National Assembly last week Thursday passed the 2017 Budget of Change and Recovery, raising it from an initial N7.28 trillion submitted by President Muhammed Buhari  to N7.44 trillion.

The sources for the funding for the 2017 budget will, according to the budget document, come from oil revenue, which is expected to rake in N1.985 trillion, while non-oil revenue will bring in about N1.73 trillion.

The Federal Government had also disclosed last year, that Nigeria will borrow more from foreign sources than locally to fund this year’s budget in a bid to benefit from lower interest rates and reduce pressure on its interest bill.

Apart from raising funds locally to finance the budget, the Federal Government also plans to borrow about N2.32 trillion overseas.

President Muhammadu Buhari had last December, while submitting the budget, stated that the budget would pull the country out of recession by spending 30.7 per cent on capital expenditure.


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