Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, has said that the target of 2.3 million barrels per day oil production volume for the 2018 fiscal year is achievable.
He said this in Lagos where he presented draft proposals for the Medium Term Fiscal Framework/Fiscal Strategy Paper (2018-2020) to civil societies groups and other stakeholders in the private sector, according to a statement by the minister’s Media Adviser, Akpandem James.
The statement said Udoma pointed out that the proposals he was presenting for the consideration of the general public were drawn from the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (2017-2020), which is the blueprint guiding all the economic plans of the government.
He also explained that the government was aware of the diminishing long term prospect of crude oil, which was why it was important that the country maximise the use and exploitation of its petroleum resources now.
Udoma said the production level of 2.3 million barrels a day projected for 2018 was realisable as the government had the technical capacity to produce much more than that.
He stated, “With the inclusion of our current condensates production of 400,000 to 450,000 barrels a day, we have been able to produce more than two million barrels a day at some period this year.
“However, average production for the year is still about 1,900,000 barrels a day but with the increasing production, we should be able to average more than two million barrels by the end of the year.”
Addressing concerns raised over the level of borrowing and the continued provision for deficit in the budget, the minister explained that the issue was not so much of a debt problem, but much more of a revenue problem.
He argued that even with the current levels of borrowing, the country’s fiscal deficit was still well within the three per cent limit prescribed by the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
He added that the government was continuously monitoring the deficit level to ensure that it remained within the three per cent threshold.
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.