The Federal Executive Council has started preparations for the 2015 budget, as it devoted this week’s council meeting to deliberations and approval of the draft Medium Term Fiscal Framework, MTEF as presented by the Coordinating Minister/Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
Briefing journalists today at the end of the weekly meeting, Mr. Bright Akogun, the Director General of the budget office,said his office had wider consultation with the National Assembly in order to avoid all bottlenecks in the early passage of 2015 budget.
Mr. Akogun was joined by the Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, Minister of Works, Mike Onolemeimen and the Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu among others in the briefing. After deliberations, the council approved the MTEF for the 2015, 2016, and 2017 national budgets.
The DG budget office, further explained that the nation’s expanding non-oil sector which was highlighted by the rebasing , was taken into consideration as it is expected to make huge contributions to the country’s revenue generation.
He said that the presentation of the MTEF, led by Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, was the outcome of some earlier efforts already made in consulting both the National Assembly and some of the other stakeholders associated with the budget process.
He al..so said the emphasis of the three year fiscal framework would be on the completion of ongoing projects. “The theme for the 2015-2017 fiscal framework continues to be “Job Creation, Inclusive Growth”. The Jonathan led administration is equally looking at how the growth could be extended to as many Nigerians as possible.
“Looking at our revenue profile, the non-oil revenue is a major contributor to government coffers and that is because a lot of effort by the administration over the last few years in engaging the various entities that are associated with collecting revenue have began to have very good results. “The emphasis will be on completion of ongoing projects. MDAs that have projects that are ongoing a lot of emphasis will be put on their completing those projects. “The other things I wish to mention is that in crafting a medium term fiscal framework and the budget, what we are emphasizing is those sectors that are best suited to generate growth and employment” he said.
Explaining further on the budget, The Minister of Information, said the three year budget would focus on job creation and inclusive economic growth .
Mr Maku noted that the Council had reached its decision, after assessing past national budgets and saw the need to improve on the administration’s transformation agenda, as advised by the Economic Management Team.
He further said the government intended to ensure that the budget for the next three years would take full advantage of the recent rebasing of the economy and expanded Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to ensure that there that more jobs were and that there was visible inclusive growth for its citizens. The council also awarded contracts worth over 154 billion naira for road constructions.