Saturday, December 19, 2015

Dwindling oil price : Explore alternative sources of revenue, Buhari tells states

ABUJA —AS the price of oil in  the international market continues to dwindle, the Federal Government insisted that state governments must begin to explore alternative sources of generating revenues in their respective states to augment what they were getting from the centre as monthly allocations.

Addressing newsmen, yesterday, after the National Economic Council, NEC, meeting in Abuja, where Vice President Yemi Osinbajo represented President Muhammadu Buhari; Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, said the advice became imperative in the face of the country’s present daunting economic challenges.

Udoma said the government, at the meeting, resolved that state governments should not only begin to do away with wastes but also exhibit prudence in the management of their resources,

Udoma said: “At the council today, the Ministry of Budget and National Planning made a presentation  on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF and the Fiscal Strategic Paper, FSP. The reports highlighted the government’s fiscal policy strategy and direction for the next three years.

“We also briefed council about government revenue and expenditure projections for the next three years. We briefed council about our view in terms of the global outlook and micro-economic frame work and the key assumptions underlining our projections .

“The presentation urged the states to adopt the MTEF and FSP which has now been approved by the National Assembly, which is the only body that can approve it.

“But we urged them to adopt it as a basis for the developing of their annual budgets. We also emphasised the need for states to be guided by the assumptions of the MTEF and also the need for states to be conservative in their expenditure and their expenditure projections for 2016-2018, in view of the declining oil price.

“We also urged states to look towards enhancing their Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) and blocking financial leakages in the system and generally we emphasised the need in planning for the economy for the federal and state governments to work very closely with government because we are dealing with one economy.”

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