The Federal Government has proposed an aggregate expenditure of N4.495tn in the 2014 fiscal year.
The 2014 budget figure represented a 9.57 per cent drop from the 2013 budget of N4.987tn.
These figures were contained in the 2014-2016 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) submitted to the National Assembly by President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday.
The drop in next year’s budget proposal follows an expected decline in government revenue as the government has set $74 as the oil price benchmark for the 2014 fiscal period against the 2013 benchmark of $79 per barrel.
The government projects that crude oil production will drop from the current 2.526 million barrels per day to 2.388 million bpd in 2014.
The government stated in the MTEF document that ‘we have projected crude oil production for 2014 to be 2.3883mbpd. This figure is lower than 2.526mbpd budgeted in 2013.
‘It is hoped that government’s efforts at tackling the (oil theft) problem will yield further results in the medium term, hence, production is estimated at 2.5007mbpd and 2.5497mbpd for 2015 and 2016.’
The document stated that the implementation of 2013 budget was on course, adding that as of the end of the second quarter, a total of N600bn had been released for the implementation of capital projects with cash backing of N598.89bn.
This, the government said, was due to the revenue challenges occasioned by reduced inflows for oil and non-oil revenue sources.
According to the document, the Excess Crude Account, whose balance stood at about $9bn at the end of 2012, declined to about $5bn in June 2013, following a series of drawdowns to meet revenue shortfalls arising from the disruption of oil production.
The Federal government also proposed N4.743tn and N4.839tn for the 2015 and 2016 fiscal years, respectively.
Projections contained in the METF are expected to drive revenue generation efforts, as the document contains essential features such as the production quota, oil benchmark and revenue projection, which will guide Senators to legislate on the proposed 2014 budget.
The President of the Senate, David Mark, who presided over Wednesday’s plenary, advised his colleagues to study the document well, preparatory to proper deliberations on the budget when further details were provided.
Earlier, the Senate had unanimously agreed to review the 2013 budget performance on another legislative day so as to ascertain the true state of the nation’s economy.