approved the Medium Term Expenditure
Framework (MTEFF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper
(SFP) for 2017-2019, signalling the
commencement of next year's budget process.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning,
Senator Udoma Udoma, disclosed this to State
House reporters after a four-hour FEC meeting
presided over by President Muhammadu
"As you know, the Fiscal Responsibility Act
requires the executive to prepare the MTEFF
and send it on to the National Assembly for
their consideration. And it is on the basis of the
MTEFF that the next budget will be fashioned.
So, in short, we've started the process of
preparing the 2017 budget," he said.
The minister noted that before the MTEFF was
presented to the council for consideration, there
was an extensive consultation with the private
sector, governors and non-governmental
Giving an insight into the key parameters and
assumptions of the MTEFF, he said while the
government intended to use $42.50 oil
benchmark "as a reference price" in 2017, it
was projecting $45 in 2018 and $50 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
2.2m barrels per day. For 2018, 2.3m barrels
per day; for 2019, 2.4 m barrels per day," he
Asked why the government was still using oil
price as a benchmark at a time it was talking
about diversification, the minister responded:
"Even though we want to diversify, we still have
to use a particular number to plan in terms of
revenue from crude oil. It doesn't mean we
don't use numbers for other receipts. I was just
reading the highlights.
"We've numbers for everything; we have
numbers we expect to get from customs, VAT,
independent revenue, etc. So, we have
numbers for all the things we expect, but
because oil is volatile and is an area that has
caused us to be where we are today, we want
to assure Nigerians we are not going backing
to using high estimates even though we sense
that prices may be moving towards $60 per
barrel in the next year or so, we are still going
to use conservative number."
The minister further said in terms of growth
rate, the government was targeting in 2017, a
three percent growth rate; 2018, 4.26 percent
and 2019, 4.04 percent.
"The reason 2019 is slightly lower than 2018 is
because that is an election year and usually, in
an election year because of the uncertainties,
we have also made provision for that," he said.
Udoma said the government would use N290 to
$1 as exchange rate as it believed that the
Naira would stabilise and that the rate was a
fair estimate from the Central Bank of Nigeria.
He said the government intended to intensify
efforts towards pursuing a manpower-driven
"Our social intervention programmes is going to
be sustained. We intend to devote even more
resources to critical infrastructure projects just
as we did this year. So, we will continue to
spend more on roads, rails, transport
infrastructure, ports and so on. We intend to
focus on plain governance and security and we
intend to maintain the zero-based budgetary
approach," he added.
On the level of implementation of the 2016
Appropriation Act, he said in terms of the
capital budget, the government had so far
released over N400bn and was "up to date in
terms of the recurrent; all salaries have paid,
overheads are released, statutory transfers are
Asked whether the issue of the emergency
powers which Buhari was reported to have
sought from the National Assembly to reflate
the economy came up at the meeting, Udoma
said nothing like that was discussed.