NIGERIA became politically independent of British Monarch 1st October, 1960, and on October 8, 1960 she made her first appearance on the international arena when she joined “United Nations General Assembly and became the 99th member-nation of the organization. Nigeria’s foreign policy is “non-alignment in foreign relations”, As a member of comity of nations, Nigeria is represented on many committees and commissions of the United Nations :- committee of Twenty-One Disarmament Committee, UNESCO, UNICEF, WHO and UNTAD. Nigeria also belongs to the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (JRBD) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as well as the International Development Association, (IDA) Perhaps, where Nigeria has made the greatest achievement since independence is in her activities in the Organization of African Unity (OAT now African Union (AU) as a founder member, mediator and a living spirit behind the organization.
Nigeria is also a member of the British commonwealth of Nations. Nigeria has diplomatic relations with countries in Europe, Africa, America and Asia.
Budget is the road map to our future. It outlines government revenue and expenditure for a given fiscal year. Health Care and Education nowadays take the lion’s share of a budget because they help to stimulate the growth rate of the economy. “He who has health has hope and he who has hope has everything”. (Arabian Proverb) “Education makes people easy to lead but difficult to drive, easy to govern but impossible to enslave”, (Henry Peter Brougham). Since Health Care and Education are ingredients for the rapid growth rate of the economy, could the sick or the uneducated and unskilled contribute to the growth rate of the economy? The answer depends on whom you ask. Recently, some governments have added power to the list-( power to keep the industries running.) Health Care, Education and Power are therefore necessary ingredients for the rapid growth rate of the economy. The importance of education cannot be overemphasized. It is required in the performance of basic responsibility even service in the armed forces.
THE ECONOMY 1966-7
The National Government budget for 1966-7 was as follows
The National Government estimated revenue for 1966-7 amounted to
£260.Om from which £1 85.Om was budgeted for Federal Expenditure
and £15 .Om as grants to provincial governments. The National budget was £99.Om excluding capital expenditure. During this period the
Nigerian currency was interchangeable at par with sterling but today you have to part with approximately N265.00 to get a pound sterling. Precisely in May, 1977 the exchange rate of the Naira to the Dollar was NI .00 to $1 .5314 but to day it is approximately N165.O0 to the dollar. The National estimated revenue had in 1999 soared to over 1745 times the pre-civil war estimates.
THE ECONOMY 1998
The Head of state Gen. Sani Abacha announced the budget estimates for 1998 tagged “Budget of Transition”, in which N260bn will be spent. He allotted N143bn of the above to capital expenditure, while recurrent gulped N117bn. However, a provision of N11bn was made for settlement of domestic debts, while N3bn was to be used for settlement of debts owed to local contractors. He also announced a provision of N44bn for external debt service. The Federal
Government’s gross revenue for 1998 was projected at N424bn as against N404bn approved for last year The projected revenue from oil was N257bn while N1. 67bn was to be derived from non – oil..
THE ECONOMY 1999
For the first time in four pears the budget was read on schedule. The Head of State Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar read the budget which he tagged “Budget of Realism. He said the 1998 fiscal year was a year of mixed economic blessing. Our foreign reserves stood at US $7.6 billion at the end of November 1998. The year witnessed some measure of macro economic stability and consolidation of economic gains attained in 1996 and 1997. The economy, however suffered some setbacks, which adversely affected the implementation of the 1998 budget and the realization of the set target. The global decline in the international crude oil prices in our OPEC quota and the temporary closure of oil wells in the Niger Delta led to a sharp reduction in government foreign exchange earnings from crude oil. Consequently the budgeted 1998 revenue of N2 136 billion from oil could not be realized. Indeed by October 31, 1998, actual receipts from crude amounted to only N34.44 billion. As a result of the decline in revenue government effected a downward revision of the 1998 budget in October, in order to avert major macro-economic and fiscal-in- balances. The estimated revenue for 1999 was N667.7 billion out of which the sum of N453.7 billion was to accrue from oil while N214 billion was to accrue from non oil. A sum of N88 billion was earmarked for capital Development Programme of the Federal Government. Provision for domestic debt in 1999 amounted to N349 billion. In addition the sum of N1 billion was provided for settlement of debt owed to local contractors. The Federal Account Revenue was estimated at N262.4 Million. Adapting the existing revenue allocation formula the Federal Government received N127, 2 billion, State Government N63 billion, Local Government councils N35.6 billion and special fund N17.1 billion.
THE ECONOMY 2007
The Head of State President Olusegun Obasanjo announced his last
budget proposal for 2007 of N2.3 trillion with the theme “Accelerate
Physical Infrastructure and Human Resource
Investment in Basic
Capital” as follows:
Budget Total N2.3 trillion
Deficit N1 .80 trillion
Crude oil Production N2.5 million bpd
Exchange Rate N126to$ 1
Capital Expenditure N78 I billion
Transport N13 billion
Water N95 billion
Works N191 billion
Agriculture N38 billion
Health N 122 billion
Education NI 86 billion
Power N105 billion
Security N2 13 billion
Pension N80 billion
Of the revenue projection of N4.3 trillion expected to accrue to the Federation Account, N3.2 trillion is expected from oil revenue while Nl.1 trillion is expected from non-oil revenue. Of the N3.2 trillion expected from oil revenue, crude oil sales is expected to contribute N .6 trillion, petroleum profits Tax NI. I trillion while royalties and others account for N532 billion. Non-oil revenue is made up of companies income Tax is expected to account for N299 billion. Value Added Tax should contribute N530 billion while customs and excise duties will account for N230 billion the revenue accruable to the Federal Government for the federation account for 2007 is estimated at NI .8 trillion. N27 billion is to be spent on election by (INEC) in 2007. Thanks to Nigeria’s nascent democracy, the national budget which had been in billion naira soared to trillion naira in 2007. Our economy has grown from over $ 30 bn external debt to over $ 40 bn reserves from weak banks to strong banks and from mono – economy to diversified export economy.
THE ECONOMY 2008
On 27th November, 2007 president Umaru Musa Yar’Adua presented his 2008 Federal Government Budget proposal of N2.4 tr. to the joint session of the National Assembly for approbation with the theme “Budget for the ordinary Nigerian” The Budget Highlights are as follows:
Security & Niger Delta N444 .6bn
Health N 138.1 7bn
Education N 2 10 bn
Energy Sector N1 39.78bn
Agriculture & Water Resources Nl21.l bn
Poverty Reduction Initiatives & Programmes Debt Service N 110 bn