The Federal Government of Nigeria recently projected key assumptions in running the 2019 budget.
Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, Mr. Ben Akabueze, rolled out the figures for the key assumptions during a public hearing on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF)
The hearing was organised by the House of Representatives Joint Committee on Finance, Appropriation, Aids, Loans and Debt Management headed by Babangida Ibrahim, yesterday, in Abuja.
Akabueze said the 2019 budget is expected to run at nominal Gross Domestic Product, GDP, of 139.65 trillion and 3.01 percent of GDP growth.
He noted that other key assumptions of micro-framework of the budget are based on a projection of 2.3 mbpd oil production, oil price benchmark of $60pb, exchange rate of N305 to a dollar, 9.98 inflation rate and 119,28 trillion nominal consumption.
Similarly, Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) also projected oil production at 2.4mbpd, oil price benchmark of $50pb, exchange rate of N305 to a dollar, 13.39 inflation rate, 106, 03 trillion nominal consumption, 126, 36 trillion nominal GDP and 4.5 percent GDP growth rate.
“As at the end of 2018, Federal Government aggregate revenue was N3.96 trillion, which is 55 percent of the budget and which is higher than the 2017 revenue,” he said.
While explaining the parameters, he placed oil revenue at N2.32 trillion, 77 percent of budget and 64 percent higher than 2017; Company Income Tax, CIT, of N637, 25 billion, 80 percent of budget and 1.7 percent higher than 2017 and Customs Collection of N303, 91billion, 94 percent of budget and 16 percent higher than 2017.
He added that “Notwithstanding the softening in the international oil prices in late 2018, the opinion of most reputable oil industry analysts is that the downward trend is not necessarily reflective of the outlook for 2019.
‘’Currently, the average Brent oil price projection for 2019 by 32 different institutions with relevant expertise is still about $69/b,’’ he explained.
He mentioned that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to take all possible measures to achieve the targeted oil production of 2.3 million barrels per day.
South Sudan on Friday opened an investment conference, the first dedicated to post-war funding as the country emerges from five years of brutal civil conflict.
The conference, dubbed “Doing Business in South Sudan,” aims to connect international corporations, individuals and private equity to South Sudan’s investment opportunities, said event organiser, Akol Nyok.
The day-long conference would enable government officials, local and international investors to take part in presentations, networking sessions and panel discussions.
“There is the need for transfer of information between people doing business in South Sudan and people externally,’’ Nyok said.
He added that the event could serve as a medium to provide people with practical information on doing business in the country.
“We believe that the private sector is the key to growth, and we think that as young people, we should play a role on how we can create jobs, how we can bring investment and how we can increase opportunities in this country,’’ he said.
According to the World Bank, South Sudan is the most oil-dependent nation in the world, with oil accounting for around 60 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP).
However, after the young nation descended into civil war in late 2013, oil production fell from 350,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2011 to less than 130,000 bpd in 2014 amid soaring inflation and economic crunch.
Outside the oil sector, the country has high potential in agriculture, which largely remains unexploited as only four per cent of South Sudan land is under cultivation, according to a report by KPMG in 2017.
South Sudan is also home to more than 30 million livestock such as cattle, goats and sheep.
Nyok said in spite obstacles hindering investment in South Sudan, the September 2018 peace agreement provides opportunities for business to pick up in the conflict-torn country if it can hold.
“Five years from now, I see a network of South Sudan entrepreneurs, international entrepreneurs spanning continents and I see a network that provides investment opportunities in South Sudan,’’ he said.
South Africa’s central bank says rising fuel and electricity prices posed a domestic risk to the inflation outlook and impact on its 2019 growth.
The apex bank governor, Lesetja Kganyago, gave the remarks on Wednesday after the latest fourth-quarter data showed an annualised growth of 0.8 per cent.
Besides, Kganyago said the impact of the volatile Rand currency and tightening global financial conditions were also being monitored for possible inflationary impacts.
The governor, however, maintained that he expected the economy to grow by 1.7 per cent this year and two per cent in 2020.