By Wahab Akanji, Abuja
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategic Paper (FSP) for 2017 to 2019.Disclosing this to newsmen at the Presidential Villa in Abuja after the meeting of the council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Wednesday was the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo-Udoma.
Udo-Udoma revealed that there was extensive consultation with stakeholders, including state governors and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) before the document was presented to FEC for the approval.
According to him, it is on the basis of the approved MTEF that the 2017, 2018 and 2019 budgets will be fashioned.
“Today, the Federal Executive Council approved Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper for 2017 to 2019, that is, the MTEF and the FSP for the next three years.
“As you know, the Fiscal Responsibility Act requires the executive to prepare the MTEF and send it to the National Assembly for consideration. And it is on the basis of the MTEF that the next budget will be fashioned. So, in short, we have started the process of preparing the 2017 budget.
He added that “Before the MTEF was presented to FEC for consideration, there was extensive consultation with the private sector, governors and NGOs.”
According to him, the government intends to intensify efforts in pursuing manpower driven economy in the 2017-2019 MTEF.
He maintained that with the MTEF, government intended to pursue gender sensitive, pro-poor and inclusive social intervention schemes similar to the 2016 social intervention programmes.
He said, “We intend to intensify effort to diversify the economy, we intend to go on with the implementation of ongoing reforms in public finance, we intend to enhance the environment for ease of business so as to generate private sector and private investment.
“We also intend to continue to pursue gender sensitive, pro-poor and inclusive social intervention schemes similar to what we did in 2016, our social intervention programmes are going to be sustained.”
He noted that the Federal Government had fixed 42.5 dollars per barrel and 2.2 million barrel per day production of crude oil as assumptions for the 2017 budget.
“Let me share with you some of the key parameters and assumptions which will be underpinning the 2017-2019 MTEF. Oil price benchmark: We intend to use 42.50 dollars as reference price in 2017. We are projecting 45 dollars in 2018 and 50 dollars in 2019.
“So, we are keeping to the very conservative in terms of the reference price of crude oil, even though we are expecting it to go higher than this. But, we are keeping to an extremely conservative price scenario.
“In terms of oil production, we are keeping to the same level of this year for 2017 and that is 2.2 million barrels per day.