With the controversy that trailed the 2016 budget, the Federal Government has kick started its plans for the next fiscal year in earnest by preparing a N6.5 trillion budget for 2017, Voice of Nigeria (VON) reports.
This was contained in a budget call circular issued by the office of the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, to all Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
According to the circular, this was in accordance with the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.
It said the aggregate Federal Government retained revenue for the 2017 fiscal year was projected at N4.1 trillion, while the aggregate expenditure level was projected to be N6.9 trillion.
The circular said: “This aggregate expenditure is made up of statutory transfers of N370.7 billion, Debt Service of N1.63 trillion, Recurrent (non-debt) expenditure of N2.56 trillion and Capital expenditure of N1.76 trillion.
“The N1.63 billion in respect of Debt Service is made up of N1.47 billion for domestic debt; N159.6 billion for foreign debt and N177.4 billion for sinking fund to retire maturing loans”.
It said the capital expenditure would be guided strictly by the justification and critical nature of such programmes and budgets.
The circular noted that the N1.76 trillion set aside for critical CAPEX includes N150 billion for Special Intervention Programme, N200 billion for Capital Supplementation and N1.41 trillion for MDAs capital expenditure.
“Additionally, the Federal Government intends to incur recurrent expenditure of N350 billion on the Special Intervention Programmes, bringing the total to N500 billion”, it said.
The document also directed all MDAs to prepare the budget based on the 2017-2019 MTEF.
According to the circular, the budget preparation should take into consideration the policies and strategies contained in the document as it outlines the development priorities of the Federal Government.
It also noted that the annual budget would continue to be prepared using the Zero-Based Budgeting approach and in line with the government’s policy thrust.
The circular discouraged the practice of regular incremental budget adjustments, each project was to be carefully scrutinised before resources were allocated and that the ZBB process places emphasis on actual needs and not wants.
It said: “Therefore, all MDAs are to carefully scrutinise and justify their projects and programmes for which resources are to be allocated in line with the immediate needs of the country and government’s development priorities”.
The priorities were grouped into six broad pillars to reflect the 26 policy priority programmes of the Government.
It listed the pillars to be economic reforms/growth, social development, critical infrastructure, states/regional development, governance, security and environment.
With respect to budget ceilings, the circular directed the MDAs to work within their 2016 expenditure ceilings to make their 2017 capital and overhead budget submissions.
It further said in preparing their budget estimates, the MDAs were required to adopt the approved price list for various items as published by the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP).
The MDAs were also required to make their submissions on or before September 16 so that bilateral budget discussions to review the received proposals for compliance and consistency with the developmental priorities of the government, will hold thereafter between September 19 and 30.
It would be recalled that the Federal Executive Council on August 24 approved the 2017-2019 MTEF and FSP.
The budget call circular is in line with the 2017 budget preparation calendar signaling the commencement of MDAs’ preparation of their 2017 budgets.