By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA—PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari will tomorrow chair a special session of Federal Executive Council, FEC, to deliberate on the draft 2019 Budget.
This was disclosed by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, while briefing State House correspondents after the end of the weekly FEC meeting presided over by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday.
He stated that the special FEC, which is expected to commence at 10 am, was fixed to put finishing touches to the budget, after which it will be forwarded as Appropriation Bill to the National Assembly.
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He did not give details of the estimates or benchmarks contained in the draft copy of the bill to be tabled for deliberations by cabinet members.
Recall that Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, had last month, announced that the Federal Government was considering a leaner 2019 budget of N8.6 trillion, lower than the N9.1 trillion approved by lawmakers for 2018.
Addressing a consultative forum on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, and Fiscal Strategy Paper, FSP, 2019-2021, the minister said the decision was due to reduced government revenue projection for the year.
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He also said government planned to cut down the level of borrowing from N1.6 trillion in 2018 to N1.5 trillion in 2019, while the deficit component would be reduced from N1.9 trillion in 2018 to N1.6 trillion.
Also briefing journalists, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, disclosed that the council approved N551.810 million for the award of the national freight office contract in Jibia, Katsina State.
He said the national freight office was always located at the border post, adding that the contract will be executed within 36 weeks.