By Folasade Folarin
The Federal Government is to spend N6.5 trillion in the 2017 fiscal year.
This is contained in a budget call circular issued by the office of the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed to all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
The circular was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday.
According to the circular, this is in accordance with the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).
It said that the aggregate Federal Government retained revenue for the 2017 fiscal year was projected at N4.1 billion, while the aggregate expenditure level was projected to be N6.9 billion.
“This aggregate expenditure is made up of statutory transfers of N370.7 billion, Debt Service of N1.63 billion, Recurrent (non-debt) expenditure of N2.56 billion and Capital expenditure of N1.76 billion.
“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 that the capital expenditure would be guided strictly by the justification and critical nature of such programmes and budgets.
It also said that the N1.76 billion set aside for critical capital expenditure includes N150 billion for Special Intervention Programme, N200 billion for Capital Supplementation and N1.41 billion 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 (ZBB) 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.
“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 Federal Government.
It listed the pillars to be economic reforms/growth, social development, critical infrastructure, states/regional development, governance, security and environment.
Regarding budget ceilings, it said MDAs were required to work within their 2016 expenditure ceilings to make their 2017 capital and overhead budget submissions.
It said that 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 online using the web-based budget preparation application on or before Sept.16.
Bilateral budget discussions to review the received proposals for compliance with the guidelines and for consistency with the developmental priorities of the government was also scheduled to hold between Sept. 19 and Sept.30.
NAN reports that the Federal Executive Council on Aug. 24 approved the 2017-2019 MTEF and FSP.
The budget call circular is in line with the 2017 budget preparation calendar signalling the commencement of MDAs’ preparation of their 2017 budgets. (Edited by Morayo Omolade/Idris Abdulrahman)