Federal Government has reiterated its resolve to bridge the infrastructure gaps by improving investment in eight critical sectors of the economy as well as increase the ratio of non-oil tax revenue from the current rate of 6% to 15% in the medium term.
They are: Security, Infrastructure (including power and transportation), Agriculture, Manufacturing, Housing and Construction, Education, Health and Water resources.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration also assured its resolve to reduce support job-creating opportunities which will in turn foster greater and diversified economic growth.
The roadmap was captured in the 2019-2021 Medium term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy policy (FSP) submitted to the National Assembly.
According to the document obtained by BusinessDay, the administration is to strengthen the tax system by improving collection efficiency, enhancing compliance and re-organising the business practices of tax and revenue agencies.
“The whistle-blowing policy, which will not only recover stolen funds but deter diversion of public funds for personal gains, will be sustained. Government will also identify and plug revenue leakages, improve tax compliance, trogheten the tax code and broaden the tax net by employing appropriate technology.
“In addition, government will ensure that more businesses in the informal sector are formalized,” the document read in part.
According to Speaker Yakubu Dogara, who confirmed the receipt of the 2019-2021 MTEF/FSP documents from the President, the transmission of the document was in compliance with the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007.
Key assumptions proposed for 2019 budget include: $60 oil price benchmark; 2.3 million barrels per day; $305/$1 exchange rate and 3.01 percent GDP growth rate.
Buhari in the letter solicited for the cooperation of the House towards fast-tracking the consideration and approval of document.
Federal Executive Council (FEC) had on Wednesday, 24th October 2018 approved a budgetary proposal of N8.73 trillion for 2019 fiscal year, N400 billion lower than N9.12 trillion for 2018 fiscal year.
As captured in the MTEF/FSP document seen by BusinessDay, 500,000 graduates have so far been employed into the N-Power scheme while Anchor Borrowers Programme (which has contributed significantly to the expansion in output of rice and other agricultural products), home Grown School Feeding programme, as well as loans to Micro, Small and
Medium Scale Enterprises are expected to address the problem of unemployment and underemployment.
Recall that the revised 2018-2020 Medium Term, Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper was approved by the House on the 22nd November, 2017.
According to the revised MTEF/FSP submitted by the Budget Office of the Federation, the fiscal deficit was reduced from N2.356 trillion (2.61%) to N2.005 trillion (1.77%) to be financed mainly by borrowing of N1.699 trillion; inflation rate pegged at 12.42%, nominal revenue of N11.3 trillion and 3.5% growth rate for 2018 fiscal year.
KEHINDE AKINTOLA, Abuja
Tags: Medium Term Expenditure Framework