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Economy

FG seeks alternative revenue sources to fund 2019 budget

The federal government has evolved a strategic agenda to augment its sources of revenue to fund the 2019 budget.

This is according to submissions by heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to the Joint House of Representatives’ Committee on Appropriation Bill, in Abuja yesterday.

The 2019 budget defence, and consideration of the bases on which it is based, namely the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) featured the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma and his Finance counterpart, Zaynab Ahmed.

Others included Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze; Director-General, Debt Management Office (DMO), Patience Oniha; Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris; Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele; and Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs, Hameed Ali.

There were also Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Babatunde Fowler; Group Managing Director (GMD), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru; and Head of the Department of Petroleum Resources, Mordecai Ladan.

Defending the 2018 budget performance, as well as the proposed appropriation for 2019 fiscal year, Udoma told the lawmakers that both the MTEF and ERGP aimed to diversify the economy, reduce unemployment and achieve sustainable economic growth.

According to him, there was need to intensify the implementation of ERGP with regard to enhanced revenue generation to effectively fund the 2019 budget, hence the strategic agenda.

He said although the economy recently emerged from recession, and thus requires time to fully recuperate, “all major economic indices are currently trending positively.”

As at 31 December, 2018, Udoma said given N3.96 trillion aggregate revenue, the government had incurred expenditure of N6 trillion, out of which N1.266 trillion was spent on capital projects.

The Minister attributed the rise of recurrent spending above capital expenditure in the 2019 budget to allocations for new minimum wage, as well as government’s commitment to offsetting all pension arrears.

Source: By Ozibo Ozibo

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