The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday in Abuja approved a draft budget of N4.929 trillion for the 2013 fiscal year.
The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, stated this while briefing State House Correspondents on the outcome of the weekly FEC meeting, presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan.
She said that the draft budget is based on the production of 2.53 million barrels of oil per day with a benchmark of $75 per barrel as against 2.48 million per day at $72 per barrel in 2012.
Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala said that the 2013 budget framework tagged: “Physical Consolidation with Growth” has projected a revenue profile of N3.891 trillion.
The minister said that government is working towards a new approach in managing domestic debt.
“Fiscal deficit is coming down and we are projecting fiscal deficit; we had fiscal deficit of 2.85 per cent of GDP in 2012 and we are expecting this to come down to 2.17 per cent of GDP, which is well below the 3 per cent that is prescribed in law in the fiscal responsibility bill.
“We have been managing down the domestic borrowing; the yearly domestic borrowing that we do; we’ve been bringing it down from N852 billion in 2011 to N744 billion in 2012 budget and we are projecting N727 billion for this fiscal year 2013.
“So, we are gradually bringing this down,” she said.
Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala noted that the projection of the government is to ensure that by 2015, yearly borrowing would reduce to N500 billion.
She stressed that though the figure would not represent the entire debt stock, it would mean that the stock of debt would grow at a much slower pace.
She added that government would soon introduce a “Sink-in Fund” of N25 billion yearly to service domestic debt.
“We are going to start a sink-in fund with Mr. President’s approval; we will be devoting the sum of N25 billion to a sink-in fund because we must be putting aside money to retire the debt that we have been building up – our domestic debt .
“And we will also put aside N75 billion to help retire a bond that is coming up in February next year.”