President Goodluck Jonathan has notified the National Assembly of his intention to present the 2014 Appropriation bill to a joint session of the two chambers on November 12, 2013.
Jonathan’s decision to present the 2014 budget estimate to joint session of the National Assembl was conveyed in a letter dated October 23, 2013 to both the Senate and the House of Representatives
The letter was read at plenary in both chambers yesterday.
It stated: “I write to crave your kind indulgence to grant me the slot of 12:00 noon on Tuesday, 12th November 2013 to enable me formally address a Joint Session of the National Assembly on the 2014 Budget,” Jonathan’s letter read in part.
The president said that the planning documents were prepared against the backdrop of global economic uncertainty.
Media reports had it that the 2014-2016 Medium Term Expenditure Framework fixed crude oil benchmark for the yet-to-be-presented 2014 budget at $74 per barrel.
Under the debt service, a sum of N663.6 billion and N48 billion was earmarked for domestic and foreign debt service, totaling N712 billion.
The revenue profile in the estimate put the federally Collectible Revenue” at N10,519 trillion for 2014. Further breakdown shows: Gross oil revenue (N6,814 trillion), Gross non-oil revenue (N3,288 trillion), non-federation account levies for targeted expenditure (N250.0 billion), education tax (N156 billion) and National Information Technology Development Fund (N9.390 billion).
Analysts believed the National Assembly may disagree with the oil benchmark of $74 per barrel contained in the budget profile.
It would be recalled that the oil benchmark price of $75 per barrel arrived at for the 2013-2015 fiscal year’s was subject of intense horse trade between the executive and the National Assembly. A $79 per barrel oil benchmark was later agreed for the 2013 budget.
The 2014-2016 MTEF/FSP signaled increasing threat to Nigeria’s crude oil revenue from emerging competitors – global and regional – viz-a-viz dwindling demand for Nigeria’s crude oil, chiefly by the US.