By Moshood Sakariyau
President Muhammadu Buhari has presented about N8.612trillion 2018 budget to a joint session of National Assembly.
While presenting the budget, president Buhari assured that the budget would be a consolidation of the previous ones, noting that 2018 is expected to be a year of better outcomes. He described the the estimation as “Budget of Consolidation.”
He further noted that with a benchmark of 45 dollars per barrel at an exchange rate of N305 to a dollar in 2018, the budget would consolidate on the achievements of previous budgets to aggressively steer the economy to the path of steady growth.
The proposed N8.612 trillion of the 2018 aggregate expenditure comprises recurrent cost of N3.494 billion; debt service of N2.014 trillion; statutory transfer of about N456 billion; sinking fund of N220 billion ( to retire maturing bond to local contract) as well as capital expenditure of N2.652 trillion which is N30.8 percent of the entire budget.
On revenue, the President said that the federally-collectible revenue is estimated at N11.983 trillion in 2018. Meanwhile, the three tiers of government shall receive about 12 per cent more revenue in 2018 than the 2017 budget. Of the amount, N6.387 trillion is expected to be realised from oil and gas sources, while non oil sectors are projected at N5.597 trillion.
The president said that government plan to finance the deficit partly by new borrowing estimated at N1.699 trillion. Fifty per cent of this borrowing will be sourced externally, while the balance will be sourced domestically.
President Buhari reiterated that with the economic recovery so far, it is clear that government made the right decisions. He urged Nigerians to support the Federal Government’s policies towards economic recovery.
The president promised that his government would continue to develop infrastructure and increase investment in agriculture to attain food security and reduce importation.