FEC okays expenditure framework, trade agreement
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) at its meeting, yesterday, granted approval for the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) for 2017 to 2019.
The documents are expected to be forwarded to the National Assembly for consideration when the legislators return from their recess.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, briefed State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, which was presided by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said, with the approval by the Council, the process for the preparation of the 2017 budget had begun earnestly.
He also noted that the MTEF figures were arrived at following intensive negotiations with all stakeholders, including the organised private sector, governors, civil society groups and non-governmental organisations.
The Council also approved the ratification of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement. The agreement was approved by all members of the WTO during a ministerial conference in 2013.
On parameters underpinning the 2017-2019 MTEF, Udoma said: “Oil price benchmark will be $42.5 dollars; $45 in 2018; and $50 in 2019. We are keeping to a very conservative figure in terms of the reference prices for crude oil, even though we are expecting it to go higher than these.”
He added: “As regards growth rate, we are targeting in 2017 a three per cent growth rate; 2018, a 4.26 per cent growth rate; and 2019, a 4.04 per cent. The reason 2019 is slightly lower than 2018 is because that is an election year and we have made provision for uncertainties.”