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FG seeks inputs from experts on proposed MTFF/FSP 2018-2020

Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma has called on financial experts, civil societies and general public to make inputs to the newly developed Medium Term Fiscal Framework/Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTFF/FSP) 2018-2020.

The minister and other officials of the ministry was in Lagos weekend to dialogue with select professionals on the matter, saying his team was in Lagos to consults with private sector operators on the way forward.

In a statement by Mr. James Akpandem, Media Adviser to Senator Udoma, the minister noted that the document he presented for consideration was drawn from the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) (2017-2020) which is the blueprint guiding all the economic plans of the government.

According to him, the ERGP was itself the product of extensive consultations with a broad spectrum of Nigerians, including development experts, top economists and other critical stakeholders. He went on to say that all budgets prepared within the plan period must be drawn from and align with the provisions of the ERGP.

Udoma noted that the basis for the key assumptions and macroeconomic framework contained in the proposed MTEF, particularly projections for oil production levels, crude oil price benchmark, exchange rate, inflation rate and GDP growth rate among others. These were all being exposed for consideration and discussion purposes. Accordingly, he welcomed comments and suggestions on them.

The minister argued that though government’s plan, as set out in the ERGP, is to diversify the economy as soon as possible away from reliance on crude oil proceeds, we need the revenues from crude oil to fund the necessary infrastructure investments that are required to provide the enabling environment for the diversification of the economy into agriculture, manufacturing, construction and services.

Stressing that “You have to use what you have to get what you want”, he further explained that government is aware of the diminishing long term prospects of crude oil, “which is why it is important that we maximize the use and exploitation of our petroleum resources now”.

He was however confident upon growing public fears on over blotting debt level, claiming that “even with our current levels of borrowings the country’s fiscal deficit is still well within the three per cent (3%) limit prescribed by the Fiscal Responsibility Act, and government is continuously monitoring the deficit level to ensure that it remains within the 3% threshold”.

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