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Govt Unleashes Budget For 2013 – EFCC Shine Eyes

The position of the national budget for 2013 was made known on Wednesday 8th as the Federal Executive Council, FEC, approved the 2013-2015 Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, and Fiscal Strategic paper for next year.

The Council approved a projected revenue of N3.891 trillion and total expenditure of N4.929 trillion for the year. FEC also endorsed the proposals that the 2013 budget be predicated on a benchmark price of $75 and crude production of 2.53 million barrels per day.

In addition, there will be a continuation of downward trend in recurrent expenditure and upward trend in capital expenditure. Towards this, recurrent expenditure will decline from 71.47 per cent in 2012 to 68.66 per cent in 2013 while capital expenditure is expected to rise from 28.53 per cent for 2012 to 31.34 per cent next year.

Also, in managing the domestic debt, the fiscal deficit and domestic borrowing will decline from 2.85 per cent and N744.44 billion in 2012 to 2.17 per cent and N727.19 billion in 2013.

Under the fiscal framework, the Federal Government will create a sinking fund of N25 billion yearly from 2013 to accumulate money for paying off bonds. Similarly, N75 billion would be spent on the retirement of bond debt due for payment in February 2013.

Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, told journalists at the end of the Council meeting that the approvals were practical expression of the government’s determination to deliver the draft 2013 budget on schedule for the early consideration of the National Assembly in September.

The minister said the government would intensify efforts at ensuring further improvement in the implementation level of the current budget, adding that the implementation level as at June 20, 2012 following four months of implementation starting from April was 41.3 per cent.

Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance further explained that the focus of government in 2013 as reflected in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and the Fiscal Strategy Paper is that the budget should make practical impact on the areas that affect most Nigerians, such as job creation, power supply, roads, rails, other infrastructure and security through increase in capital budget and prudent management of the economy.

Meanwhile, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC has extended its fight against crime to budget implementation to all the states of the Federation in as much as the commission has allocated N4.5 million to some civil society organizations, CSO, to monitor budget implementation in Cross River State.

However, the money which was given to the EFCC by the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP would be released to CSOs to monitor activities of the state government in project implementation.

The Head of Strategy and Reorientation Units of the EFCC, Mr. Gabriel Aduda, who disclosed this at a Town Hall meeting on governance accountability programme in Calabar on Tuesday, said the commission wanted to identify anti-corruption revolution partner in each state to monitor activities of states and local council officials in budget implementation.

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