From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Papers (MTEF/FSP), setting new parameters ahead of it’s presentation to the National Assembly.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, who briefed State House Correspondents at the end of meeting at the Presidential Villa,

According to her, the ministry got inputs form the Council and will make the necessary adjustments, for onward presentation to the National Assembly.

Ahmed explained that the price of crude for the MTEF has been pegged at

$70 per barrel in 2023; $66 in 2024 and $62 in 2025.

“Crude oil production is projected to be 1.69million bpd for 2023 and 1.813million bpd for both 2024 as well as 2025. We have also projected that the nominal GDP, that the size of Nigeria economy will rise up to N225.5trillion with 95% of this contribution by the non-oil sector while the oil sector will be contribution only 5%.

“And some steady increase from 2024 2025 to reach up to N280.70 trillion in 2025. This means that Nigeria continues to retain its position as the largest economy in Africa.”

Ahmed also said the 2022 budget uptil April performed very well with a steady growth in the economy for five consecutive quarters.

On the depletion of the Excess Crude Account (ECA), the minister said the governors, who are joint owners of the accounts, were aware of the withdrawals from the accounts.

Ahmed explained that the account has not had accruals in the last four years because of the volatility of the commodity in the international market adding that withdrawals from the accounts have always been in consultations with the National Economic Council (NEC).

She said “The last approval that was given by the council was the withdrawal of $1billion to enhance security. We have been utilizing that – the last tranche of that has been finally released because deployment to security agencies are based on the contracts executed and it’s been used strictly for that security purpose. So, the utilization of the account is with the full knowledge of the governors.”

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, on his part said Council approved a policy drive called Downstream Policy, to prevent the export of raw ores from Nigeria, to ensure some beneficiation by Nigerians before minerals are exported.

He said: “So, whatever you mined, even if you are unable, as the miner to process, we’re inviting investors, we’re having people who build processing plants, they themselves don’t have to be miners, but they’ll be processors who can take the ores from anybody and process before we export.

“So essentially, the policy was passed today so that we’ll discourage the exportation of raw ore from Nigeria. The Nigerian government, this government of President Buhari, post-COVID, granted some funds and this fund is being used as demonstration projects for this mineral processing policy.”

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who briefed on behalf of the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fasola, sake Council approved the revised estimated total costs of contract for the dualization of Kano-Katsina road in Kano and Katsina states.

“This contract, which is 78 kilometer, was actually awarded sometime in 2019, but the contractor, having done appreciable work, asked us for a review of the quality of engineering and the contract deal was augmented with the sum of N16 billion, thereby revising the subsisting contract from N29 billion to N46 billion and it was awarded to CCEC of China, who is CCECC of Nigeria Limited, who are actually busy on that road.”

Mohammed said council also approved a memo, presented by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, for the NDLEA to purchase some 32 operational vehicles to enhance their operations.

“I’m sure we’ve all noticed that there has been an improved performance on the part of NDLEA in the last couple of months and because of this enhanced performance, there has been need for more operational vehicles.

“The good thing about the request is that all the operational vehicles are being bought from locally assembling plant here, INNOSON Motors. I think the total cost is N821,653,000.”

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Source: news