Sports, Celebrity, Tech, Entertainment, Lifestyle, News, Events and Gossip...

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Read President Buhari's 2018 Budget Speech Here

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, presented the budget for the 2018 fiscal year to the National Assembly.

Read the speech he gave while presenting the budget here:

PROTOCOLS
1. I am here to present 2018 Budget Proposals.
Before presenting the Budget, let me thank all of
you Distinguished and Honourable Members of the
National Assembly, and indeed all Nigerians, for
your support and prayers for my full recovery
while I was on medical vacation.
2. I am very pleased to address this Joint Session
of the National Assembly, on the revenue and
expenditure estimates, and related matters, of the
Federal Government of Nigeria for the 2018 fiscal
year.
3. The 2018 Budget will consolidate on the
achievements of previous budgets and deliver on
Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan
(ERGP) 2018 – 2020.
OVERVIEW OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS IN 2017
4. 2017, so far, has been a year of uncertainty on
many fronts across the world. Whether it is Brexit,
the crisis in the Korean Peninsular, or indeed, the
political uncertainty in key oil producing nations of
the Middle East and South America, we can all
agree that these developments have in one way or
another impacted Nigeria’s economic fortunes.
5. By all accounts, 2018 is expected to be a year
of better outcomes. The tepid economic recovery is
expected to pick up pace and the global political
terrain is expected to stabilize. The International
Monetary Fund (IMF) is anticipating global GDP
growth of 3.7 percent in 2018. Emerging markets
and developing economies are expected to lead with
GDP growth of 4.9 percent, while advanced
economies are projected to grow at a slower rate
of 2 percent.
6. Nigeria’s journey out of the recent recession was
a revealing one. We heard many opinions from
within and outside Nigeria on how best to address
our economic woes. We listened carefully and
studied these proposals diligently. Our belief has
always been that the quickest and easiest solution
may not necessarily be the best solution for a
nation as diverse as ours. We took our time to
create a balanced and equitable response, keeping
in mind that only tailored Nigerian solutions can fix
Nigeria’s unique problems.
7. And from the recovery that we are seeing
today, it is clear that we made the right decisions.
Distinguished and Honourable Members of the
National Assembly, I am now asking you to continue
to support our economic policies in order to
consolidate and sustain on the success achieved so
far. We simply cannot go back.
8. In the non-oil sector, crop production has been
one of the main contributors to non-oil growth,
which rose to 0.45 percent in the second quarter of
this year. This was primarily driven by our ongoing
financial, capacity building and infrastructure
development programs.
9. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural
Development, working with development partners
and the private sector, have embarked on
numerous capacity building projects. We have also
completed over 33,000 Hectares of Irrigation
Projects that have increased water availability in
key food producing states. We shall continue to
intensify our interventions through the Anchor
Borrowers’ Programme and the Presidential
Fertilizer Initiative to ensure that this momentum
is sustained. We have also made provisions in the
2018 Budget to complete ongoing Irrigation
Projects at Ada, in Enugu State; Lower Anambra,
in Anambra State; and Gari, in Jigawa State. In
2017, many factories and projects in the food and
agricultural sectors were commissioned in Kebbi,
Nasarawa, Kaduna, Anambra, Edo, Jigawa, Rivers,
Niger, Ogun and Ebonyi States, to mention a few.
This is a clear statement that our economic
diversification and inclusive growth ambitions are
coming to fruition.
10. Significant progress has also been made in the
Solid Minerals development sector. In Ondo State,
for instance, work is ongoing to fully exploit the
bitumen resources to meet the 600,000 MTs of
asphalt imported per annum for roads and other
construction projects. To consolidate on these
efforts, we have also established a 30 billion Naira
Solid Minerals Development Fund to support other
minerals exploration activities across the country.
11. In the oil and gas sector, the relatively higher
crude oil prices supported our economic recovery.
Our mutually beneficial engagement with oil
producing communities in the Niger Delta
contributed immensely to the recovery in oil
production experienced in recent months. We would
like to thank the leadership and communities in the
Niger-Delta for their continued support and to also
reiterate our assurances that this Administration
will continue to honour our commitments to them.
We cannot afford to go back to those dark days of
insecurity and vandalism. We all want a country
that is safe, stable and secure for our families and
communities. This means we must all come together
to address any grievances through dialogue and
peaceful engagement. Threats, intimidation or
violence are never the answer.
12. We are working hard on the Ogoni Clean-up
Project. During the year, we engaged 8
international and local companies proposing
different technologies for the mandate. To enable
us select the best and most suitable technology for
the remediation work, we asked each company to
conduct Demonstration Clean-up Exercises in the 4
Local Government Areas of Ogoni Land. These
Demonstrations were recently concluded and the
results are being studied by the Governing Council
of the Ogoni Clean-up Project. Although the
Project will be funded by the International Oil
Companies, we have made provisions in the 2018
Budget for the costs of oversight and governance,
to ensure effective implementation.
13. On the international front, I would like to
thank our friends and partners in the Joint OPEC /
Non-OPEC Ministerial Monitoring Committee
(JMMC) who graciously granted Nigeria an
exemption from the output cuts imposed on OPEC
Member Countries in January 2017. This exemption,
which was extended in September 2017,
significantly helped during our most challenging
time. We shall continue our positive engagement
with other oil producing nations to ensure that the
momentum generated is sustained.
14. Permit me, Mr. Senate President and Right
Honourable Speaker, to state that despite the
downturn in oil prices and our challenging economic
circumstances, this Administration was able to
invest an unprecedented sum of over 1.2 trillion
Naira in capital projects through the 2016 Budget.
This is the highest ever in the history of this
country. This is a clear demonstration of our
commitment to consolidate on our economic
diversification reforms and lay a stronger
foundation for future growth and development.
15. Our Sovereign Wealth Fund, which was
established in 2011 with US$1 billion, did not
receive additional investment for 4 years when oil
prices were as high as US$120 per barrel. However,
despite record low oil prices, this Administration
was able to invest an additional US$500 million into
the Fund. This further demonstrates that in our
struggle to have a stable and secure nation today,
we have not, and will not, lose sight of the need to
lay a solid foundation for the future prosperity of
successive generations.
16. We have asked the Sovereign Wealth Fund to
look inward and invest locally. Some of the
successes we are seeing today in the agricultural
sector are driven by this new investment approach
by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority
(NSIA). The NSIA also has a very strong pipeline of
local investments that will support our inclusive and
diversified economic growth plan.
17. Stability has been restored to the foreign
exchange market due to the interventions by the
Central Bank of Nigeria to improve access to
liquidity, discourage currency speculation and
increase net foreign exchange inflows. As at the
30th of October, 2017, our external reserves had
increased to US$34bn. This stability has supported
our efforts to provide the enabling environment
and interventions needed to empower Micro, Small
and Medium-Sized enterprises, investors,
manufacturers and exporters, to sustain and in
some cases, grow their operations. Indeed, by the
second quarter of 2017, exports significantly
outpaced imports, resulting in a trade surplus of
506.5 billion Naira.
 One of the targets we set for gauging our
progress in creating an enabling environment for
business was to achieve a positive movement in the
World Ease of Doing Business Index. You would
recall Nigeria experienced a decade-long decline in
this ranking. In 2008, Nigeria was ranked 120th. By
2015, our situation had deteriorated to 169th of
the 189 countries surveyed. Our very simple, logical
and user-friendly reforms are reversing this
trend. A recently released World Bank business
ranking report announced that Nigeria had moved
24 places to 145th position in 2017. I am delighted
that we have met and even surpassed our target
of moving at least 20 paces up this global ranking.
The same World Bank report also stated that
Nigeria is among the top 10 reforming countries in
the world.
19. To ensure these reforms are institutionalized,
Executive Order Number #1 on the Promotion of
Transparency and Efficiency in the Business
Environment was issued in May 2017. The Order
contained measures that ease the process of
business registration, approval of permits, granting
visas and streamlining port operations. We are
committed to continuing and accelerating the Ease
of Doing Business reforms, which are critical to
attracting new investments, growing the economy
and creating jobs for our people.
Improved Tax Administration
20. Although the economy is diversified with non-
oil Sector accounting for over 90 percent of total
Nominal GDP, the Government’s revenues are not
as diversified yet. Our Tax-to-GDP ratio of about
6% is one of the lowest in the world. This situation
is not consistent with our goal of having a
diversified, sustainable and inclusive economy.
Accordingly, we are stepping up efforts to ensure
all taxable Nigerians comply with the legal
requirement to declare income from all sources and
remit taxes due to the appropriate authorities.
21. Already, we have introduced the Voluntary
Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) on
the 1st of July, 2017. The Scheme provides non-
compliant taxpayers with a nine-month window to
regularise their tax status relating to historical
periods. In return, overdue interest and penalties
will be forgiven. In addition, no investigations or
criminal charges will be brought against
participating taxpayers. We expect that this
Scheme will widen the tax net for both the Federal
and State Governments. I am therefore, asking all
Nigerians to seize this opportunity and do right
thing. Let us not shy away from our duty to build
a better Nigeria.

Optimising Efficiency in Expenditure
22. In 2016 this Administration adopted a policy of
allocating at least 30 percent of our annual budget
to capital expenditure. This was entrenched in the
ERGP to unlock further growth in the economy.
This tradition was maintained in the 2017 Budget
and has been reflected in the proposal for 2018, in
which 30.8 percent of total expenditure has been
set aside for the capital vote.
23. To support these efforts, you would recall that
an Efficiency Unit was set up under the Federal
Ministry of Finance to reduce wastage, plug
leakages and foster greater fiscal transparency.
We have intensified the implementation of the
Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information
System (IPPIS) across government MDAs to
automate personnel records and salaries’ payment
process, with the goal of eliminating ghost workers.
461 Federal MDAs have been captured on the
system, so far. Our target is to enroll all MDAs. I
have directed the military and other security
agencies to ensure total compliance without further
delay.
Increased Investment in Infrastructure
24. Mr. Senate President, and the Right
Honourable Speaker, we shall continue to develop
our infrastructure across the country. Although a
lot of progress has been made, the huge contractor
liabilities we inherited have adversely impacted our
infrastructure development timetable. Indeed,
contractors were owed trillions of Naira when this
Administration came into office. In some areas, we
have made payments so projects may be completed;
while in others, we are reconciling the liabilities to
identify and settle legitimate claims. As a
responsible and accountable Administration, we
decided that clearing this backlog was an important
priority.
25. For instance, at the outset of this
Administration in 2015, the Abuja Metro-Rail
Project, which began in 2007 was only 50%
completed, after 8 years. Today, in just 18 months,
we have pushed the project to 98% completion. This
was achieved as the Nigerian Government was
diligently able to meet its counterpart funding
obligations for the Chinese loans.
26. We have also continued work on key strategic
Roads. Over 766 kilometres of roads were
constructed or rehabilitated across the country in
2017. For instance, work is at various stages of
completion on these strategic roads with immense
socio-economic benefits:
a. Rehabilitation of Ilorin-Jebba-Mokwa-Birnin-
Gwari-Kaduna Road;
b. Dualization of Oyo-Ogbomosho-Ilorin Road;
c. Rehabilitation of Gombe-Numan-Yola Road;
d. Dualization of Kano-Maiduguri Road;
e. Rehabilitation of Sokoto-Tambuwal-Jega Road
and Kotangora-Makera Road that transverse
Sokoto, Kebbi and Niger States;
f. Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Enugu-
Port-Harcourt Road;
g. Rehabilitation of Enugu-Onitsha Dual
Carriageway Road;
h. Rehabilitation of Aleshi-Ugep Road and the
Iyamoyun-Ugep Section in Cross River State;
i. Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Expansion of
Lagos-Ibadan Dual Carriageway Road;
j. Construction of Loko-Oweto Bridge over River
Benue in Nasarawa and Benue States; and
k. Construction Gokanni Bridge along Tegina-
Mokwa-Jebba Road in Niger State.
27. Under the Federal Roads Development
Programme, we recently completed a Data
Collection Exercise on the 7,000km Federal Road
Network which was funded by the World Bank. This
information is enabling us to make informed
decisions regarding the planning, budgeting and
management of the Federal Road Network. Going
forward, we will be working based on facts rather
than subjectivity.
28. Furthermore, we have also invested a lot of
time and effort in identifying alternative means of
funding new projects. For example, the recent 100
billion Naira Sukuk Financing will cater specifically
for the development of 25 roads across the
country. We also developed different structures
that empower private investors to contribute to
the development of roads of significant national
importance. Already, we are seeing results. For
example:
a. The Bonny-Bodo Road is being jointly funded by
the Federal Government and Nigeria LNG Limited.
This project was conceived decades ago but it was
abandoned. This Administration restarted the
project and when completed, it will enable road
transportation access for key communities in the
Niger- Delta region; and
b. The Apapa Wharf-Toll Gate Road in Lagos State
is also being constructed by private sector
investors in exchange for tax credits.
29. Distinguished Members of the National
Assembly, our Power Sector Reforms still remain a
work in progress. Although we have increased
generation capacity significantly, we still have
challenges with the Transmission and Distribution
Networks. That said, I am pleased to announce that
since 2015, the Transmission Company of Nigeria
(TCN) and Niger-Delta Power Holding Company
(NDPHC) have added 1,950 MVA of 330-132kV
transformer capacity at 10 Transmission stations,
as well as 2,930 MVA of 132-33kV transformer
capacity to 42 substations nationwide. With these
additions, the Transmission Network today can
handle up to 7,000 Mega Watts (MW).
30. The key bottleneck now is the Distribution
Network where the substations cannot take more
than 5,000 MW. This is constraining power delivery
to consumers. We are working with the privatized
Distribution Companies to see how to overcome this
challenge. Nigerians should be rest assured that
this Administration is doing all it can to alleviate
the embarrassing power situation in this country.
31. Furthermore, to sustain the continued
expansion of generation capacity and enhance
evacuation, we approved a Payment Assurance
Guarantee Scheme which enabled the Nigerian Bulk
Electricity Trader (NBET) to raise 701 billion
Naira. This assures the Generation Companies of up
to 80% payment on their invoices. This intervention
has brought confidence back into the sector and we
expect additional investment to flow through,
particularly in the gas production sector.
32. Distinguished Members of the National
Assembly, this Administration is committed to the
development of Green Alternative Energy Sources.
To date, we have signed Power Purchase
Agreements (PPA) with 14 solar companies. We also
approved:
a. The completion of the 10 MW Wind Farm in
Katsina State, a project that was abandoned since
2012; and
b. The concession of 6 small hydro-electric power
plants with a total capacity of 50 MW.
33. To enable the successful take-off of these,
and future Green Projects, I am pleased to inform
this Distinguished Assembly that the Federal
Government will be launching the first African
Sovereign Green Bond in December 2017. The bond
will be used to finance renewable energy projects.
We are very excited about this development as it
will go a long way in solving many of our energy
challenges, especially in the hinterland.
34. On Rail, we recently received 2 additional
locomotives and 10 standard gauge coaches for the
Abuja-Kaduna Rail Line. These will be deployed for
the new non-stop express service between the two
cities that will only take one hour and fifteen
minutes. This new service will complement the
existing service currently in place. We plan to
commission this by December 2017.
35. We have also kick-started the abandoned
Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri Rail Line. This project has
been on for over 17 years. We had to take some
drastic measures but I am pleased to announce
that work is ongoing and we expect to commission
this service by September 2018. This service will
start with 7 standard gauge coaches.
36. The situation at the Apapa port complex is a
top priority for this Administration. The delays due
to congestion and their adverse impact on business
operations and costs is a key concern to our
Government. As I mentioned earlier, we are
partnering with the private sector to fix the road.
We shall do the right thing considering. We will not
cut corners.
37. In addition to the road, we have also
commenced the extension of the Lagos-Ibadan
Standard Gauge Rail Line to connect Apapa and Tin
Can Port Complexes. This project will significantly
ease the congestion at the ports and enhance both
export and import operations. This project shall be
completed by December 2018. Already, working
with the private sector, we have repaired the
Apapa Port Narrow Gauge Line which is currently
being used to evacuate goods from the port,
thereby easing congestion.
38. As we all know, sometimes doing the right thing
takes time and requires sacrifices. I am therefore
appealing to all stakeholders to work with us in
ensuring we deliver a solution that we will all be
proud of.
39. Certainly, the infrastructure requirement to
reposition Nigeria for the future is huge and our
resources are limited. Government, therefore, will
pursue private partnerships to maximise available
capital and developmental impact. In the next
fiscal year, we will also establish 7 tertiary health
institutions across the country through partnership
with our Sovereign Wealth Fund and other private
sector investors.
Agricultural Development
40. The agricultural sector played a crucial role in
Nigeria’s exit from recession. Today, it remains the
largest employer of labour and holds significant
potential to realise our vision of repositioning
Nigeria as a food secured nation.


41. We will consolidate on existing policies and
develop new ones to ensure the numerous value
chain challenges in the agricultural sector are
addressed. As I mentioned earlier, several
investors have deployed significant capital in the
production and processing of rice, sugar, maize,
soya, cassava, yams, tomato, oil palm, rubber and
poultry, to mention a few. We are also seeing
increased investment in the agro-inputs
manufacturing sector such as fertilisers.
42. We are determined to protect these
investments and encourage more. Food Security is
an important aspect of this Administration’s
National Security agenda. Any person involved in
smuggling of food items is a threat to our National
Security and will therefore be dealt with
accordingly. A Committee chaired by the Vice
President is working on this matter. A key part of
their work will be the reactivation of the Badagry
Agreement signed between Nigeria and the
Republic of Benin in 2003. This agreement, which
was abandoned by previous Administrations,
established a mutually beneficial framework for
the two neighbours and allies to partner in tackling
smuggling and other cross border crimes. I would
like to assure investors in the agricultural value
chain that the menace of smuggling will be handled
decisively.
43. To further support investors and State
Governments, we will accelerate the establishment
of at least 6 Staple Crop Processing Zones, in the
first phase. This initiative will develop
infrastructure for the production, processing and
storage of strategic commodities. The focus is on
backward integration for grains, horticulture,
livestock, fisheries and sugar; as well as exportable
commodities such as cocoa, cassava and oil palms.
Health Sector Developments
44. During 2017, the country had a number of
disease outbreaks such as Meningitis, Yellow Fever,
Monkey Pox and Lassa Fever. I would like to
commend the Federal and State Ministries of
Health for their selfless service and timely
responses to contain these outbreaks. I would also
like to thank the World Health Organisation, the
Global Fund and UNICEF, for their continued
support during these trying times. This
collaboration was a key factor in the low mortality
rates experienced. To further improve our response
to such outbreaks, we are working to upgrade our
Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response
System. This will further enhance the efficiency of
our diagnostic and clinical management processes.
45. In this respect, I urge this Distinguished House
to expedite the passage of the Bill for the Nigeria
Centre for Disease Control to enable us consolidate
on the successes recorded to date.
Implementing the Social Investment Program
46. I am pleased to inform you that we have
recorded tremendous success in the implementation
of the Federal Government’s Social Investment
Program. Specifically,
a. Over 4.5 million Primary 1 to Primary 3 pupils in
public schools are being fed under the School
Feeding programme;
b. Over 200,000 unemployed graduates have been
employed under the N-Power Scheme in education,
health and agricultural sectors;
c. Over 250,000 enterprises have benefitted from
the sum of 12.5 billion Naira, which has been
disbursed to entrepreneurs to expand their
businesses; and
d. Over 110,000 households are currently
benefitting from the Conditional Cash Transfer
programme across the country.
PERFORMANCE OF THE 2017 BUDGET
47. The 2017 Budget of Recovery and Growth was
based on a benchmark oil price of US$44.5 per
barrel, oil production of 2.2 million barrels per day,
and a Naira-to-US Dollar Exchange Rate of 305.
Based on these assumptions, total revenue of 5.084
trillionNaira was projected to fund aggregate
expenditure of 7.441 trillion Naira. A projected
fiscal deficit of 2.356 trillion Naira was to be
financed mainly by domestic and external
borrowing.
48. On revenue performance, collections were 14
percent below target as of September 2017, mainly
due to the shortfall in non-oil revenues.
49. A key revenue shortfall was from Independent
Revenues; only 155.14 billion Naira was remitted by
September 2017 as against the projected pro-
rated sum of 605.87 billion Naira. This represents a
74 percent shortfall, which is very disappointing.
50. This recurring issue of under-remittance of
operating surpluses by State Owned Entities is
absolutely unacceptable. You will all recall that in
September 2017, the Joint Admissions and
Matriculation Board (JAMB) announced that they
were ready to remit 7.8 billion Naira back to the
Government. The shocking discovery was that in the
last decades, JAMB only remitted an aggregate of
51 million Naira. This clearly illustrates the abuses
that occur in State Owned Entities as well as their
potential for increased Independent Revenues, if
only people would do the right thing. We all need to
play our role to ensure the right thing is done. I
would also like to remind Nigerians that the Whistle
Blower lines are still open.
51. Accordingly, I have directed the Economic
Management Team (EMT) to review the fiscal
profiles of these agencies, to ensure strict
compliance with the applicable Executive Orders
and Financial Regulations. There may be a need to
consider a review of the Fiscal Responsibility Act
and the Executive will be approaching the National
Assembly on this issue in due course.
52. On the expenditure side, a total of 450 billion
Naira of the capital vote had been released as at
the end of October 2017. With your support for our
funding plan, our target is to release up to 50% of
the capital vote for MDAs by the year’s end. We
have prioritised payments of our counterpart
obligations on our concessionary loans, as well as
funding of critical infrastructure and other
projects with socio-economic benefits.
Furthermore, MDAs have made provisions to carry
over to the 2018 Budget, capital projects that are
not likely to be fully funded by year-end 2017, to
ensure project continuity.
53. Regrettably, the late passage of the 2017
Budget has significantly constrained budget
implementation. As you are aware, the 1999
Constitution authorized necessary Federal
Government expenditures prior to the 12th of
June, 2017 when the 2017 Appropriation Act was
signed into law. This year, we have worked very
hard to achieve an earlier submission of the
Medium-term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal
Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP), and the 2018
Appropriation Bill. Our efforts were to avail the
National Assembly with sufficient time to perform
its important duty of passing the Appropriation Bill
into law, hopefully by the 1st of January, 2018. It
is in this spirit that I solicit the cooperation of the
Legislature in our efforts to return to a more
predictable budget cycle that runs from January
to December.

PRIORITIES FOR THE 2018 BUDGET OF
CONSOLIDATION
54. The 2018 Budget Proposals are for a Budget of
Consolidation. Our principal objective will be to
reinforce and build on our recent accomplishments.
Specifically, we will sustain the reflationary policies
of our past two budgets. In this regard, the key
parameters and assumptions for the 2018 Budget
are as set out in the 2018-2020 Medium Term
Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy
Paper (FSP). These include:
a. Benchmark oil price benchmark of US$45 per
barrel;
b. Oil production estimate of 2.3 million barrels per
day, including condensates;
c. Exchange rate of N305/US$ for 2018;
d. Real GDP growth of 3.5 percent; and
e. Inflation Rate of 12.4 percent.
Federally-Collectible Revenue Estimates
55. Based on the above fiscal assumptions and
parameters, total federally-collectible revenue is
estimated at 11.983 trillion Naira in 2018. Thus,
the three tiers of Government shall receive about
12 percent more revenues in 2018 than the 2017
estimate. Of the amount, the sum of 6.387 trillion
Naira is expected to be realised from oil and gas
sources. Total receipts from the non-oil sector are
projected at 5.597 trillion Naira.
Federal Government Revenue Estimates
56. The Federal Government’s estimated total
revenue is 6.607 trillion Naira in 2018, which is
about 30 percent more than the 2017 target. As we
pursue our goal of revenue diversification, non-oil
revenues will become a larger share of total
revenues. In 2018, we project oil revenues of 2.442
trillion Naira, and non-oil as well as other revenues
of 4.165 trillion Naira.
57. Non-oil and other revenue sources of 4.165
trillion Naira, include several items including: Share
of Companies Income Tax (CIT) of 794.7 billion
Naira, share of Value Added Tax (VAT) of 207.9
billion Naira, Customs & Excise Receipts of 324.9
billion Naira, FGN Independently Generated
Revenues (IGR) of 847.9 billion Naira, FGN's Share
of Tax Amnesty Income of 87.8 billion Naira, and
various recoveries of 512.4 billion Naira, 710 billion
Naira as proceeds from the restructuring of
government’s equity in Joint Ventures and other
sundry incomes of 678.4 billion Naira.
Proposed Expenditure for 2018
58. A total expenditure of 8.612 trillion Naira is
proposed for 2018. This is a nominal increase of 16
percent above the 2017 Budget estimate. In
keeping with our policy, 30.8 percent (or 2.652
trillion Naira) of aggregate expenditure (inclusive
of capital in Statutory Transfers) has been
allocated to the capital budget.
59. We expect our fiscal operations to result in a
deficit of 2.005 trillion Naira or 1.77 percent of
GDP. This reduction is in line with our plans under
the ERGP to progressively reduce deficit and
borrowings.
60. We plan to finance the deficit partly by new
borrowings estimated at 1.699 trillion Naira. Fifty
percent of this borrowing will be sourced externally,
whilst the balance will be sourced domestically. The
balance of the deficit of 306 billion Naira is to be
financed from proceeds of privatisation of some
non-oil assets by the Bureau of Public Enterprises
(BPE).
61. The proposed 8.612 trillion Naira of 2018
Aggregate Expenditure comprises:
a. Recurrent Costs of N3.494 trillion;
b. Debt Service of N2.014 trillion;
c. Statutory Transfers of about N456 billion;
d. Sinking Fund of N220 billion (to retire maturing
bond to Local Contractors);
e. Capital Expenditure of N2.428 trillion (excluding
the capital component of Statutory Transfers).
Statutory Transfers
62. 456.46 billion Naira was provided in the 2018
Budget for Statutory Transfers. The 5 percent
increase over last year’s provision is mainly due to
increases in transfer to Niger Delta Development
Commission (NDDC) and the Universal Basic
Education Commission (UBEC), which are related
directly to the size of oil revenue.
Debt Restructuring
63. We are closely monitoring our debt service to
revenue ratio. We shall address this ratio through
our non-oil revenue-generation drive and
restructuring of the existing debt portfolio.
Presently, domestic debt accounts for about 79
percent of the total debt. Our medium-term
strategy is to reduce the proportion of our
domestic debt to 60% by the end of 2019 and
increase external debt to 40 percent. It is
noteworthy that rebalancing our debt portfolio will
enhance private sector access to domestic credit.
In addition, annual debt service costs will reduce as
external debts are serviced at lower rates and
repaid over a longer period than domestic debt.
Recurrent Expenditure
64. A substantial part of the recurrent cost
proposal for 2018 is for the payment of salaries
and overheads in key Ministries providing critical
public services such as:
a. N510.87 billion for Interior;
b. N435.01 billion for Education;
c. N422.43 billion for Defence; and
d. N269.34 billion for Health.
The allocation to these Ministries represent
significant increases over votes in previous
budgets.
Personnel Costs
65. Personnel costs is projected to rise by 12
percent in 2018. Although we have made substantial
savings by registering MDAs on the Integrated
Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS)
platform, the increase is mainly due to provision
for staff promotion arrears, and recruitments by
the Military, Police Force and para-military
agencies. Furthermore, I have directed agencies
are not to embark on any fresh recruitment unless
they have obtained all the requisite approvals. Any
breach of this directive will be severely sanctioned.
Overhead Costs
66. Overhead costs is projected to rise by 26 billion
Naira in 2018, a modest increase of about 12
percent reflecting inflationary adjustments. MDAs
are required to adhere to government regulations
regarding cost control.
Capital Expenditure
67. To consolidate on the momentum of the 2017
Budget’s implementation, many ongoing capital
projects have been provided for in the 2018
Budget. This is in line with our commitment to
appropriately fund ongoing capital projects to
completion. By allocating 30.8 percent of the 2018
Budget to capital expenditure, the Federal
Government is also demonstrating its strong
commitment to investing in critical infrastructure
capable of spurring growth and creating jobs in the
Nigerian economy.
68. Key capital spending allocations in the 2018
Budget include:
a. Power, Works and Housing: N555.88 billion;
b. Transportation: N263.10 billion;
c. Special Intervention Programmes: N150.00
billion;
d. Defence: N145.00 billion;
e. Agriculture and Rural Development N118.98
billion;
f. Water Resources: N95.11 billion;
g. Industry, Trade and Investment: N82.92 billion;
h. Interior: N63.26 billion;
i. Education N61.73 billion;
j. Universal Basic Education Commission: N109.06
billion;
k. Health: N71.11 billion;
l. Federal Capital Territory: N40.30 billion;
m. Zonal Intervention Projects N100.00 billion;
n. North East Intervention Fund N45.00 billion;
o. Niger Delta Ministry: N53.89 billion; and
p. Niger Delta Development Commission: N71.20
billion.
69. As I had previously indicated, we aim to
consolidate on our achievements in 2017. We shall
meet our counterpart funding obligations. We shall
complete all ongoing projects. And we shall carry
forward all strategic projects that were budgeted
for but which we were unable to kick start due to
liquidity challenges, late passage of the budget,
prolonged contractual negotiations, and other
matters.
70. Specifically, I would like to bring your attention
to the following key projects and programmes that
we are determined to implement in 2018:
a. N9.8 billion for the Mambilla hydro power
project, including N8.5 billion as counterpart
funding;
b. N12 billion counterpart funding for earmarked
transmission lines and substations;
c. N35.41 billion for the National Housing
Programme;
d. N10.00 billion for the 2nd Niger Bridge; and
e. About N300 billion for the construction and
rehabilitation of the strategic roads mentioned
earlier.
Consolidating on the Social Intervention Programme
71. This Administration remains committed to
pursuing a gender-sensitive, pro-poor and inclusive
growth. We are keenly interested in catering for
the most vulnerable. Accordingly, we have retained
the 500 billion Naira allocation to the Social
Intervention Programme. Under the programme,
100 billion Naira has been set aside for the Social
Housing Programme.
72. Government will also continue to implement the
Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programme, as
well as the National Home-Grown School Feeding
programme in 2018. These initiatives are already
creating jobs and economic opportunity for local
farmers and cooks, providing funding to artisans,
traders and youths, as well as supporting small
businesses with business education and mentoring
Regional Spending Priorities for Peace, Security
and Development
73. To maintain peace and security in the Niger
Delta for economic and social activities to thrive,
the provision of 65 billion Naira for the
Presidential Amnesty Programme has been retained
in the 2018 Budget. In addition, the capital
provision for the Ministry of Niger Delta has been
increased to 53.89 billion Naira from the 34.20
billion Naira provided in 2017. This is to further
support the development in the region. We will
complete all critical projects, including the East-
West Road, which has a provision of about 17.32
billion Naira in 2018.
74. Across the nation, and particularly in the
North East region, our commitment to the security
of life and property remains absolute. We will
ensure that our gallant men and women in arms are
properly equipped and well-motivated. The result
of our efforts is evident in the gradual return to
normalcy in the North East. It is in this spirit that
I recently assented to the North-East
Development Commission Bill that was passed by
this Distinguished House. We expect that this
development will consolidate on our ongoing efforts
to combat insurgency, reintegrate Internally
Displaced Persons and rebuild communities in the
North East Region, which have been adversely
affected by the insurgency.
75. Similar attention is being given to efforts to
reduce violent crime across the country. The
Nigerian Army was recently deployed to combat the
growing scourges of cattle rustling and banditry
that have plagued our communities in Kaduna,
Niger, Kebbi, Katsina and Zamfara States. We will
also continue to arrest the incidence of Armed
Robbery, Kidnapping and other Violent Crimes
across our nation.
76. We have also increased our focus on cyber-
crimes and the abuse of technology through hate
speech and other divisive material that is being
propagated on social media. Whilst we uphold the
Constitutional rights of our people to freedom of
expression and association, where the purported
exercise of these rights infringes on the liberties
of other citizens or threatens to undermine our
National Security, we will take firm and decisive
action.
77. In this regard, I reiterate my call for
Nigerians to exercise restraint, tolerance and
mutual respect in airing any grievances and
frustrations. Whilst the ongoing national discourse
on various political issues is healthy and welcome,
we must not forget the lessons of our past. I trust
that the vast majority of our people would rather
tread the path of peace and prosperity, as we
continue to uphold and cherish our Unity in
Diversity.
CONCLUSION
78. Distinguished and Honourable Members of the
National Assembly, you will recall that in my 2017
Budget Speech, I promised a new era for Nigeria
and an end to the old ways of overdependence on
oil revenues. The statistics and initiatives I
mentioned clearly show that this new era has come
and the old Nigeria is surely disappearing. We
must, therefore, all work together to protect and
sustain this CHANGE to create a new Nigeria:
a. A Nigeria that feeds itself;
b. A Nigeria that optimally utilizes its resources;
c. A Nigeria with a diversified, sustainable and
inclusive economy.
79. Mr. Senate President, Mr. Speaker,
Distinguished and Honourable Members of the
National Assembly, this speech would be incomplete
without commending the immense, patriotic and
collaborative support of the National Assembly in
the effort to move our great nation forward. I
wish to assure you of the strong commitment of
the Executive branch to deepen the relationship
with the Legislature.
80. Nigeria is currently emerging from a very
difficult economic period. If we all cooperate, and
support one another, we can consolidate on our exit
from the recession and firmly position Nigeria for
economic prosperity. All the projects presented
within this Budget have been carefully selected and
subjected to extensive consultations and
stakeholder engagements. As a Government, we
are determined to bring succour to our people,
improve their lives, and deliver on our promises to
them. 2018 is a crucial year as we strive to ensure
that we consolidate our successes and
institutionalize the policies and practices that
drove this turnaround.
81. I appeal to you to swiftly consider and pass the
2018 Appropriation Bill.
82. It is therefore with great pleasure and a deep
sense of responsibility, that I lay before this
Distinguished Joint Session of the National
Assembly, the 2018 Budget Proposals of the
Federal Government of Nigeria.
83. I thank you most sincerely for your attention.
84. May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

No comments:

Post a Comment