The Senate yesterday passed President Muhammad Buhari MediumTerm Expenditure Framework/Fiscal Strategy Paper , just as the red Chamber pegged the Oil benchmark at $44.5 per barrel against initial $42.50 per barrel.
The Senate also adopted the exchange rate of N305 for a US dollar, as proposed by the executive arm of government, for the 2017 fiscal year.
Similarly, the House of Representatives yesterday approved the 2017 – 2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP), pegged exchange rate of dollar at N305 and the price of crude at $44.5 per barrel.
The lawmakers also upped the price of crude as against the $42.5 proposed by President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2017 budget.
Senate worried about the gap between the parallel market and the official exchange rate, urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to initiate measures to close the gap.
It is on record that, the Senate had on Wednesday, 23rd November, 2016, considered the request of President Muhammadu Buhari on the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) and referred same to the committees on Finance; Appropriation; and National Planning, for further legislative action.
Presenting the report at the plenary, the Chairman of Finance Committee, Senator John Enoh said the joint committees had interactive session with the Federal Ministries of Finance; Budget and Planning; Mines and Steel Development; and other agencies.
“In its determination to arrive at a realistic MTEF and FSP for the next 3 years, the committee considered the actual performance of the 2016 Budget and the previous MTEF and FSP”, Enoh said.
The Joint Committees observed that the core parameters of the 2016 budget were based on a benchmark oil price of $38 per barrel, oil production of 2.2m barrel per day and exchange rate of N197 per Dollar.
“However, available records show that between January to October 2016, the country produced an average of 1.7m barrels per day. Frequent destruction of oil installations by the Niger Delta Militants have been blamed for the decline “, Senator Enoh added.
He therefore urged the Federal Government to curtail the activities of Niger Delta Militants, in order to halt the drop in crude oil production, and in order to achieve the 2.2m barrels benchmark for the year 2017.
On non – oil revenue projection, the Senate approved the projected N5.122 trillion in 2017, with the task on revenue generating agencies to intensify revenue collections drive.
The Senate also adopted the sum of N807.57bn for the Federal Government Independent Revenue for the 2017 fiscal year.
It however, recommended the review of the legal framework of relevant agencies and government owned enterprises.
On Domestic and Foreign Debts, the Senate approved the projected additional domestic borrowing of N2. 321 trillion with additional foreign borrowing of N1. 067 trillion.
To cushion the effects of the economic recession on the youths and ordinary citizens; the Senate approved the sum of N350bn as Recurrent and N150bn as Capital budget for 2017 fiscal year; for social intervention schemes, job creation, to pursue gender-sensitive and also encourage entrepreneurship and innovation among young graduates.
The Senate, however, urged the government to be self – sufficient and also export certain agricultural and mining products.
Also the House urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to initiate measures that will close the gap between the parallel market and the official exchange rate, recommended the adoption of N5.122trillion as revenue projection from non-oil commodities in 2017.
Advising the revenue generating agencies to intensify their drive in order to boost the non-oil components of the revenue, the lawmakers adopted N807.57billion for federal government independent revenue for 2017 as well as a review of the legal framework of relevant MDAs and government owned enterprises.