Nigeria: FG releases N2.079 trillion for capital expenditure in 2018 budget, as external reserve hits $44.69b

WorldStage Newsonline– The Federal Government of Nigeria said it has so far release N2.079 trillion for capital expenditure from the 2018 budget as at 14th May 2019. 

The minister of finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed who disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja at a quarterly press conference said Nigeria external reverse grew to $44.69 billion from 8.3% in 2015 as at 14th of May 2019. 

She said the revenue performance had continued to show improvement with revenue amounting to N3.98 trillion at the end of 2018, representing about 1% increase.    

According to her “Similarly, year on year inflation rates continue to move from a high of 18.7% in January 2017 to 11.37% in April 2019. Our external reserve in the other hand grew from 8.3% in 2015 to 44.69 billion as at 14th of May 2019. 

“Independent revenues are critical part of the revenue of this country. We have not seen optimal performance yet, in independent revenue there has been some improvement.   

“The independent revenue generated in 2018 was N454.34 billion, this against a budgeted figure of N847.94 billion, which is a performance of 54%. In 2017 the independent revenue performance was 25%, so there is progress by the government owned enterprises where government invested.

 “Our revenue performance as at today is not plus or minus as at today in negative variance of 45% of the budget of 2018, consequently all agencies under the ministry of finance  is geared toward increasing the revenue performance, and we are working toward achieving a credible baseline and proactively manage the realization of the budgeted revenues.”  

 The minister, however, noted that through the presidential initiative on continuous audit from 2016 till date N603.7 billion had been saved. 

She said: “Including in this figure is savings of N8.3 billion in the first quarter of 2019. As part this administration zero tolerance for corruption, spending on ghost workers have been  acted on by convicting some civil servants, some undergoing trials at court while other are being investigated by Economic and Financial crime Commission(EFCC).”

 On the budget performance for 2018 she said, “Our expenditure performance could not be taken in isolation of revenue. In 2018 our budgeted revenue was N7.2 trillion and this was against the actual figure that was realized N3.96 trillion, signifying a negative variance of 45%, despite the short fall we were able to meet service 100% debt service 100%. 

“We have been able to release seven month overhead in 2018 for 2019 four more.

She said the government was addressing the issue of high debt service borrowing by a combination of constituting strategies which include refinancing shorter term higher cost debt to longer term lower cost debt.

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