Thursday, 13 December 2018

2019 Budget: Buhari awaits National Assembly’s nod for presentation

Budget and National Planning Minister Udoma Udo Udoma yesterday said the 2019 Budget was ready for presentation.

He said that President Muhammadu Buhari was waiting for the National Assembly to give him a date to present the proposal to the joint session of the National Assembly for scrutiny.

According to him, “the President is ready to present the budget any day the lawmakers are ready”.

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) had at a special session last Friday approved and transmitted the budget proposal to the National Assembly.

Udoma, who briefed reporters at the State House after the FEC meeting in the company of Information, Culture & Tourism Minister Lai Mohammed and Transportation Minister Rotimi Amaechi, said that the decision on the date for the presentation “is purely in the hands of the lawmakers”.

The minister said: “As you already know, the budget is ready. We are liaising with the National Assembly because they are to give us a date. If they say today, we will go. The budget is ready.”

On the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), he said: “Today, I reported to the FEC we have seen steady recovery from the recession period the report indicates that the economy when measured by real GDP grew at 1.81 per cent in the third quarter 2018, compared to 1.5 per cent in the second quarter of 2018.

“The FEC was particularly encouraged to note that economic growth continues to be driven by the non-oil sector which grew by 3.32 per cent in the third quarter.

“This has been the strongest growth in non-oil GDP in twelve consecutive quarters since the fourth quarter of 2015.

“By economic activity, non-oil growth was driven by transportation, electricity, telecommunication, metal oils, quarry and so on. In addition, agriculture and manufacturing sectors also grew, agriculture by 1.91percent manufacturing by 1.92 per cent these are stronger growth than in the second quarter.

“So, overall, council most encouraged by these results shows improvement in the economy, it also shows that our plans are working; it equally shows that we need to intensify our economy and keep fit with our reforms through continuous implementation of the ERGP in order to continue to attract investments and set the economy on a more sustainable and inclusive growth trajectory. The council is encouraged by this and believes we should be able to do even better in the 4th quarter.”

Noting that investors will naturally be cautious in making investments during the periods of general elections, he urged investors not to be cautious with the forthcoming 2019 general elections but to invest in Nigeria.

Amaechi, said that FEC approved $22.995 million towards enhancing security of the maritime sector.

The Transport minister said: “We got an approval for NIMASA to enhance security of the maritime sector, in terms of the maritime sector we are talking about the security on the waterways and the contract is worth $22.995 million.

“It was approved for six companies to protect six sections of the coastal waterways and the $22.9 million when converted amounts to N7.13 billion.”

Author: verified_user