Epunchng - Most read newspaper in Nigeria Wednesday November 15 2017 - Page 23

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2017 business & economy 23 iNSIDE Market/Money Pages: 26, 27 & 29 Appointments & Mgt Pages: 31, 33 & 35 Transport Page: 37 2018 budget: FG targets N311bn from asset sale, privatisation Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja T he Federal Government is aiming to generate of N311bn from privatisation of public properties and the sale of national assets next year to partly finance the 2018 budget. This is contained in the 2018 budget proposals submitted last Tuesday to a joint session of the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari. The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma, during a public presentation of the 2018 budget proposals in Abuja on Tuesday, stated that the sum of N306bn was being expected from privatisation proceeds, while the balance of N5bn would come from the sale of government assets. Present at the event were the ministers of Education, Adamu Adamu; Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun; Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu; and the Head of the Civil Service of the of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, among others Udoma said the amount was part of the financing items of N6.6tn that would be used to fund the 2018 budget of N8.6tn. Giving a breakdown of the expected sources of revenue, he stated that crude oil would contribute 37 per cent of the total revenue for the budget, adding that Companies Income Tax, Value Added Tax and customs duties would account for 12 per cent, 3.1 per cent and 4.9 per cent, respectively of the projected revenue for the 2018 fiscal year. Others are recoveries, 7.8 per cent; tax amnesty, 1.3 per cent; signature bonus, 1.7 per cent; Joint Venture equity restructuring, 10.7 per cent; grants and donor funding, three per cent; and others, 5.5 per cent. Udoma said the 2018 revenue projection reflected new funding mechanism for Joint Venture operations, allowing for cost recovery in lieu of the previous cash call arrangement. He added that there would be additional oil-related revenues, including royalty, new marginal field licences, early licensing renewals and a review of fiscal regime for oil production sharing contracts. According to him, the government is restructuring its equity in the JV oil assets, adding that the proceeds would be reinvested in other assets. In addition, the minister said there were plans to increase excise duty rates on alcohol and tobacco, noting that this would help improve the revenue performance of the government. Providing insights into the revenue performance of the 2017 budget, Udoma stated that oil revenue as well as that of the Nigeria Customs Service performed according to their respective targets. For instance, he said the sum of N1.6tn was earned from oil between January and September, while the revenue generated by the Customs was N207bn out of the N208.17bn pro-rated as of the end of September. This, he noted, was a performance of 99 per cent for the NCS. He put collections from Companies Income Tax and Value Added Tax at N407.59bn and N95.57bn, respectively, adding that this implied revenue performance of 67 per cent and 53 per cent, respectively of the pro-rated budget. Udoma, however, lamented that independent revenue did not perform according to target as only N155.14bn, which was just 20 per cent of the target, was remitted by agencies of government. He said as a result of the poor performance of the agencies, the Federal Government was considering a review of their operational efficiency to make them more fiscally responsible. The minister stated, “Despite the delay in the passage of the budget, we have been able to spend N450bn as of October 31, 2017. As a result of the challenges in the economy, our growth target for 2017 is revised downwards from 2.19 per cent to 1.5 per cent. “Engagements are continuing with stakeholders in the Niger Delta to ensure stability in oil production. 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