EFCC gives N4.5m to groups for budget monitoring
THE direction of the national budget for 2013 became clear yesterday as the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the 2013-2015 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategic paper for next year.
The Council approved a projected revenue of N3.891 trillion and total expenditure of N4.929 trillion for the year.
FEC also endorsed the proposals that the 2013 budget be predicated on a benchmark price of $75 and crude production of 2.53 million barrels per day.
In addition, there will be a continuation of downward trend in recurrent expenditure and upward trend in capital expenditure. Towards this, recurrent expenditure will decline from 71.47 per cent in 2012 to 68.66 per cent in 2013 while capital expenditure is expected to rise from 28.53 per cent for 2012 to 31.34 per cent next year.
Also, in managing the domestic debt, the fiscal deficit and domestic borrowing will decline from 2.85 per cent and N744.44 billion in 2012 to 2.17 per cent and N727.19 billion in 2013.
Under the fiscal framework, the Federal Government will create a sinking fund of N25 billion yearly from 2013 to accumulate money for paying off bonds. Similarly, N75 billion would be spent on the retirement of bond debt due for payment in February 2013.
Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, told journalists at the end of the Council meeting that the approvals were “practical expression of the government’s determination to deliver the draft 2013 budget on schedule for the early consideration of the National Assembly in September.
The minister said the government would intensify efforts at ensuring further improvement in the implementation level of the current budget, adding that the implementation level as at June 20, 2012 following four months of implementation starting from April was 41.3 per cent.
Okonjo-Iweala explained that “the focus of the government in 2013 as reflected in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and the Fiscal Strategy Paper is that the budget should make practical impact on the areas that affect most Nigerians, such as job creation, power supply, roads, rails, other infrastructure and security through increase in capital budget and prudent management of the economy.
Broadly, the focus will be on improving aggregate revenue receipts, optimising expenditure and keeping the fiscal deficit at a reasonable level.
“The proposals for the 2013 budget are based on a rigorous review of the performance of the global economy with regard to negative economic developments around the world, which have the potential to negatively impact the country’s economy. Based on a foundation of prudence, the proposals represent a robust response to these developments anchored on a strong macro-economic framework,“ she said.
The minister added that the 2013-2015 MTEF and Fiscal Strategic paper for 2013 will be forwarded to the National Assembly as part of their continuing discussions on the preparations for next year’s budget.
The Council also approved contract for the transaction advisory services for Design, Build, Finance and Operate (DBFO) for the 2nd Niger Bridge linking Anambra and Delta States at the Onitsha-Asaba river crossing. To be executed under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP), it was awarded to a British firm, Roughton International Limited at a total cost of NN325,638,828. It is to be completed in 16 months. The projects is expected to be flagged off by the third quarter of next year.
The Council also approved a memo by the Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen for the award of contract for transaction advisory services for the improvement of the Apakun-Murtala Mohammed Airport road route F269 in Lagos State at a total cost of N297,746,203.
The 2.8 kilometre road, which is in a deplorable condition, is to be upgraded to a modern eight-lane facility for traffic flow.
The Council also approved additional works on the subsisting contract for the extension from Dutse-Kwanar Huguma on the dualisation of the Kano-Maiduguri Road Section II (Shuwarin-Azare). The new contract, a distance of 24.4 kilometres of road, will connect the proposed Dutse Airport located along the road to the Kano-Maiduguri Highway.
It was awarded in favour of Setraco Nigeria Limited and cost N8,352,277,657.48. This will drive the total cost of the Kano-Maiduguri dualisation project from N35,841,452,834.88 to N44,193,730,492.36. It has a completion period of 40 months. These are in line with the 2007 Fiscal Responsibility Act which demands that the Federal Ministry of Finance produces this each fiscal year and thereafter engages key segments of the public with a view to getting their input to enrich the plan.
Meanwhile, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has extended its fight against crime to budget implementation to all the states of the Federation.
To achieve this, the commission has allocated N4.5 million to some civil society organizations (CSO) to monitor budget implementation in Cross River State.
The money, which was given to the EFCC by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) would be released to a yet to be mentioned CSOs to monitor activities of the state government in project implementation.
The Head of Strategy and Reorientation Units of the EFCC, Mr. Gabriel Aduda, who disclosed this at aTown Hall meeting on governance accountability programme in Calabar on Tuesday, said the commission wanted to identify anti-corruption revolution partner in each state to monitor activities of states and local council officials in budget implementation.
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