• Sum excludes SURE-P Funds
• Capital N1.1 trillion
• Revenue N3.73 trillion
True to speculations that President Goodluck Jonathan may not present the 2014 budget estimates before the joint session of the National Assembly, the Minister of Finance and the co-ordinating minister of the economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has today presented a N4.6 trillion budget estimates excluding SURE-P funds separately to the Senate and House of Representatives for the 2014 fiscal year.
In the company of some cabinet ministers namely, Minister of Water Resources, Sarah Ochekpe; Minister of Communications technology, Omobola Johnson; Minister of Information and Supervising Minister of Defence, Labaran Maku; Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory, Olajumoke Akinjide; Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, Minister of Niger Delta, Elder Godsday Orubebe among others.
Titled "Budget of Job Creation and inclusive growth", the excited Okonjo-Iweala said while the aggregate expenditure excluding subsidy reinvestment and empowerment programme (SURE-P) funds is about N4.6 trillion; revenue is about N3.73 trillion", while addressing the press outside the senate chamber of the National Assembly.
According to her, "this budget is the budget for job creation and inclusive growth, meaning that it is a budget which will continue the President's transformation agenda for several sectors of the economy. Industries will also be created in solid minerals. All this support will continue to be unleashed. Job creation is the key to really solving the problems of the Nigerian economy".
Also, she said: the budget is going to support the push in agriculture, it will kick-start the housing sector where we can create more jobs, and it is designed to promote our policies that would support manufacturing because jobs will be created. All the programmes that create jobs are very well supported, the SURE-P is also part of it, Community Services programmes would be pushed and the You Win Programme would be pushed. The infrastructure development is part of it. The Honourable Minister of Transport is here, we have been working on rail development. The Ministry of Niger Delta is also part of the infrastructure development, Water Resources, Federal Capital Territory Development and so on.
"We have privatized Power but will be working on the transmission to direct resources there. The distinguishing thing is that it is a continuation of what we have done before but with more emphasis on really pushing out jobs and also supporting safety nets that can further redistribute income to the poor people in the country", she said.
Today's presentation to the separate chambers of the National Assembly has ended intrigues and stalemate on oil benchmark which caused delay of the presentation by President Goodluck Jonathan.
President Goodluck Jonathan had to shelve his earlier date of November 12 arising from the disparity in the oil benchmark price of $76.5 and $79, by the senate and the House of Representatives respectively as against the $74 per barrel proposed by the executive acting under the requirement of the 2014-2016 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP).