by Tunji Andrews
The 2015 Nigerian federal budget of $23 billion, was presented to parliament by Nigeria’s finance minister on Wednesday, after having cut the initial budget by almost N500bn to accommodate slumping oil prices.
The federal government had in September proposed a 2015 budget of about N4.36 trillion based on oil prices of $78 a barrel, however, Okonjo-Iweala said the new budget is based on an assumption of $65 a barrel and production of 2.27 billion barrels a day.
In line with this, the federal government has projected total collectible revenue of N11.16 trillion for year 2015, targeting an increase of 2.5 per cent over the N10.89 trillion revenue approved for the current year.
Many may recall the fiery presentation last year, which ended in the finance minister being giving a list of 50 questions the parliamentarians insisted she answer.
This time it however went a bit smoother, despite the alleged frosty relationship between President Goodluck Jonathan and House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal. Reports say that the finance minister was in discussions with the speaker for almost 2 hours, to facilitate a speedy passage of the bill.
On the details of the budget, Okonjo-Iweala said that the 2015-projected budget deficit would be N755bn or 0.79% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP); while expecting government revenue to grow by 5.5% from $19.7bn.
She also said that the government would focus on non-oil revenue as a means to make up for the revenue losses that may occur as a result of the drop in global crude prices.
The 2015-2017 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) presented to the National Assembly, shows that federal government’s net revenue projection from non-oil sector was N2.075 trillion after costs and deductions for 2015, while net oil revenue was put at N3.955 trillion after costs, deductions and derivation.