BREAKING: Buhari to ‘present N7.3 trillion budget for 2017’.

The federal government has proposed a budget of N7.28 trillion for the year 2017.

The proposed budget represents an increase of ?about 19.95 per cent over the 2016 Appropriation of N6.07 trillion.

President Muhammadu Buhari is to present the budget on December 14 to a joint session of the National Assembly.

PREMIUM TIMES sources in the Presidency said details of the proposed appropriation were based on crude oil benchmark price of $42.5 per barrel and a daily crude oil production estimates at about 2.2 million barrels per day.

Besides, the source said the government pegged the exchange rate at N305 to the dollar.

In the 2016 Budget, crude oil benchmark price was put at $38 per barrel, while production level was 2.2 million barrels per day.?

However, following renewed attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta region by militant groups led by the Niger Delta Avengers, the production estimates were altered, after the level dropped by a third of the capacity, before rising later to about 1.19 million barrels per day.

“The 2017 Budget is ready and has been considered by the Executive council of the Federation. A total spending of N7.28 trillion is being proposed for ?2017,” the official, who asked not to be named, because of the sensitive nature of the information said on Tuesday in Abuja.

“Next year’s budget was also predicated on an exchange rate of N305 to a dollar. The figure was the prevailing exchange rate as at the time the 2016-19 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) was prepared in August 2016,” the official said.

The president has a sent a letter informing the National Assembly of his readiness to present the budget.

“We are waiting for the leadership of the National Assembly to communicate back to the President by confirming the date for him to make his presentation to the two houses,” the official said.

A copy of the 2017 Budget? seen by PREMIUM TIMES revealed that government proposed N2.078 trillion as capital expenditure and N2.9 trillion as recurrent expenditure.

The 2017 capital and recurrent expenditures rose by 15.44 per cent ?and 9.43 per cent over the 2016 Appropriation figures of N1.8 trillion and N2.65 trillion respectively.

Further review of the detailed provisions showed was no allocation was made for new minimum wage or salary increment for government workers in the proposed budget for next year.

The government, however?, retained the social intervention programme of N500 billion in the 2017 Budget to cushion the negative impact of the current economic recession.

“I don’t think we should be talking about salary increment or new minimum wage. What will really assist Nigerians and the workers are thee social intervention programmes and investments in infrastructure government is current embarking upon.

“Most of the government policies are targeted at reducing unemployment and poverty, while creating wealth. These are areas of benefits for ?Nigerians and the workers, which are of concern to the government,” the official said.

He however declined requests for more details on government domestic and foreign borrowing plans ?in the 2017 Budget, saying the details would be provided by the President during the budget presentation.

?But, another top official of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning who also asked not to be named, as he was not authorised to speak on the issue, revealed the president would launch a new economic recovery and growth plan for the country before the end of December 2016.

The official said the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udoma, would brief the National Assembly on Tuesday on the new ?economic recovery and growth plan.

“This is a long term economic plan for the nation. It is a more comprehensive economic plan to marshal out roadmap to turn around the economy and reposition Nigeria on the path of sustainable growth and development. It is not just about growth, it encompasses development,” the official explained.

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